Navy discourages resettlement

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has imposed restrictions on the resettlement of displaced families on the Mandaitheevu island off the coast of the Jaffna Peninsula, said sources. After the bulk of the population was displaced in 1991 and the overrunning of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp in 1995, only around 35 families remained on the island.

However, with parts of the Jaffna peninsula and some of the islands, coming under SLA's control after operation Riviresa in 1995, a few displaced families began to make frequent trips to Mandathivu with the hope of re-establishing themselves there once again.

However, when the SLN replaced the SLA two months ago, the families, most of whom depend on fishing for a livelihood, were discouraged from resettling, the sources said.

No reason was given by the SLN for their action.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), which took over Velanai Central College in 1991 to establish its headquarters in the area, will hand over the school back to the authoreties said sources in Jaffna.

With the withdrawal of the SLA from the island and security functions now being undertaken by the Sri Lanka Navy, it has been decided that the school can be handed back to the proper authorities, the sources said.

The formal handing over will take place on July 15.


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