SLA allows restricted use of Koilamani access road
[TamilNet, Friday, 02 January 2004, 13:11 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Friday opened the only access road to a farming village Koilamani near Kodikamam in Jaffna district subject to restrictions that the residents could use the road from six in the morning till the seven in the evening and thereafter they should obtain prior permission from the army sentry located at the entrance of the access road, civil sources said.
The relaxation of the ban on the use of the road that leads to Koilamani village came into operation from Friday around noon following a sit-in-protest launched by men, women and children of the village, at the entrance of the Thenmaradchchi Divisional Secretary’s (DS) office Thursday demanding that the SLA should vacate its camp blocking the only access road to their area.
Koilamani residents said since the SLA completely blocked off the road in 2000, they have been using a footpath through private properties. As the footpath has to be closed soon because owners of the properties are now resettling, they have no other alternative path to reach their areas except the access road blocked by the army.
SLA officials from camps located in Varani and Kodikamam held a discussion at the Koilamani Navalar Community Centre with the representatives of village level organizations Friday morning around 10.30 a.m. and announced that they could use the access road to go to their village with some restrictions. Thenmaradchchi Divisional Secretary Mr.S.Srinivasan participated in the discussion.
SLA officials said that about sixty families living in the village will be allowed to use the access road but about 120 families residing at the tail end of the village will not be allowed to use the said access road as they have an alternative road on the other side of the village, sources said.
SLA officials further told village level representatives that villagers should obtain prior permission from the army camp in the area if they wanted to give temporary accommodation in their homes for their relatives and friends who come to stay for special purposes.