Trinco refugees protest demanding resettlement

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 October 2004, 10:40 GMT]
A group of Tamil refugees sheltered in UNHCR run Allesgarden camp located about three km north of Trincomalee town Friday morning around 7.30 a.m.held a sit in protest obstructing the traffic on the Trincomalee Nilaveli road stating that they are unable to return their villages of Kanniya and Kuchchaveli as their lands are still occupied by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), civil sources in Trincomalee said.

Tension escalated when SLA soldiers attempted to disperse the protestors. Refugee camp sources allege that SLA soldiers had assaulted two of the protestors.

Members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) stationed in Trincomalee took another route through Thuwarankadu village to reach their office in east port town from Nilaveli avoiding the sit-in-protest of refugees. Expatriate monitors of the SLMM in Trincomalee are staying in a hotel in Nilaveli. They come to office daily through Nilaveli-Trincomalee road.

Refugees from Allesgarden camp said the SLA has put up more camps in Kanniya village after the ceasefire agreement came into operation and the SLN has also occupied lands belonging to civilians in Kuchchaveli.

With the assistance of government security forces new Buddhist shrines and new Sinhala settlements are being established in their villages. This should be stopped forthwith, protestors said.

Protestors also charged the SLA and Police that they supported JVP organized (hartal) general shut down which was held last week in the name of North East Sinhalese Organization demanding the release of two Sinhala home guards, sources said.

Protestors at the site demanded that LTTE members now in remand should also be released.

Two of the SLMM monitors in Trincomalee later in the day were reported to have met with the protestors and discussed about their problems, SLMM sources said.

 

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