4 bodies found Saturday still in Musali jungle
[TamilNet, Monday, 10 September 2007, 16:55 GMT]
All attempts since Saturday to recover the bodies of four persons lying in the Pichchaivanipanku'lam jungles in Musali division, Mannaar district have proved futile following the Sri Lanka Army's refusal to allow Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) officials in Mannaar town to visit the site.
SLRCS officials have sought permission through the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), but as of Monday evening, the bodies have not been removed from the site, civil society sources said.
Murunkan Police received information on Saturday that four dead bodies had been lying in the jungle area and sought the assistance of the SLRCS officials based in Mannaar town for their removal. Mannaar SLRCS officials subsequently went to Murunkan, Sunday afternoon, to seek permission from the Sri Lanka Army. However, heavy rain in the area posponed their search mission.
On Monday, SLRCS officials sought the SLA's permission
through the ICRC to visit the site and recover the bodies, and were denied. However, the SLA granted villagers permission to travel to the site accompanied by village level officers (Grama Sevaka Officers) to recover these bodies. Due to fear, villagers did not come forward.
It is suspected that the four bodies may include persons recently reported missing: a husband and his wife missing after fetching firewood from the Pichchaivanipanku'lam jungles, a Mullikku'lam co-operative society manager, civil society sources said.