Sinhalese settlers demand evacuation from Somapura

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 August 2006, 06:52 GMT]
Thousands of Sinhalese settlers from the southern sectors of Trincomalee district have demanded safe evacuation from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas, civil sources in Somapura said. The local authorities have contacted the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to facilitate evacuation from the southern sector where the SLA offensive towards Mavil Aaru was launched. Meanwhile, initial reports reaching from Kiliveddy said Muttur civilians, carrying white flags, have started to reach Kiliveddy area. However, the ICRC coordinator, Davide Vignati, in Colombo has told media that a formal cessation of hostilities for a limited time frame is yet to be established.

6700 families have already left their houses in Muttur, according to the ICRC.

The ICRC has sought assistance from other NGOs in the region to facilitate transportation of civilians towards remote areas.

Sources in Kiliiveddy said the civilians reaching the area are stranded as formal arrangements were not complete.

The SLA troopers were yet to receive signal from their military hierarchy despite the assurances given to ICRC from Colombo government authorities, a Muslim representative who did not wish to be named told TamilNet.

The Sinhala settlers gathered at Ali Oluva junction Friday morning demanded immediate transportation. This has prompted the local authorities in turn to contact the ICRC to arrange vehicles for transportation, according to local sources in Somapura.


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