Protest stops SLA from putting back Chavakachcheri FDL

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 2004, 00:55 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army stopped efforts Wednesday to put its forward defence line (FDL) back in its original place in the Chavakachcheri high security zone following protests by families that got back their garrisoned homes from the military last weekend. The SLA pulled back the defence perimeter of its high security zone in two places on the outskirts of Chavakachcheri during the weekend to release about 79 war damaged and destroyed homes, including urban council quarters, to families that were displaced when the military garrisoned the area more than three years ago.

An SLA trench in a compound vacated by the army in southeast Chavakachcheri.
Families clearing their lands for resettlement destroyed and filled up some of the bunkers, trenches and other defences that were in the area from which the army pulled back.

The Families that got back their homes and lands in Mahilankerni, near St. Liqoryce Church on the southeastern outskirts of Chavakachcheri protested Wednesday when the army began building the makeshift defence line with cadjan to encompass the area that was released on 7 February to the displaced families.

The families were told that the SLA in Chavakachcheri had got orders from the military headquarters in Palaly to put back the FDL in its original position.

However, following strong protests the military stopped building the makeshift FDL along the line from which the original defence perimeter of the Chavakachcheri High Security Zone was pulled back for about 400 meters during the weekend to hand back war damaged and destroyed homed to displaced families in the area.

Returnees clearing their land by the makeshift FDL which the SLA attempted to put back Wednesday.

The Divisional Secretary for Thenmaradchi, Mr. S. Sreenivasan, meanwhile confirmed that there are more than 64 homes, including twin unit UC quarters, in the area vacated southeast of Chavakachcheri town. All the houses are either damaged or destroyed.

The Sri Lanka army headquarters in Colombo Tuesday denied the TamilNet report that army had released 79 houses in the southeastern and southwestern sectors of the Chavakachcheri town by pulling back its FDL by about 400 meters.

The SLA stopped clearing the Chavakachcheri stadium area which it had earlier earmarked for release.

A bunker filled up by returnees along the trench in the area vacated by the SLA in Chavakachcheri southeast.


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