MP condemns SLA ban on construction of houses for Batticaloa IDPs
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 October 2007, 10:41 GMT]
Batticaloa District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, speaking to media this week, condemned the ban imposed by Sri Lanka Army (SLA ) for constructing permanent houses for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) at Naavaladi Junction within Vaaharai District Secretary's administrative area in Batticaloa District.
The excerpts of comments made by Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy follow:
"Naavaladi is located on Vaazhaichchenai - Colombo road within the administrative area of Vaakarai District Secretary (DS).There are hundreds of crown lands in this area. Recently a number of Muslim families from Vaazhaichchenai and Oddamaamavadi forcibly occupied these lands and constructed houses with the active connivance of Amir Ali, Minister for Disaster Management and Rehabilitation.
"However, some Tamil families affected by both during Tsunami disaster and during by recent SLA offensives have been settled only in temporary sheds in Aalangku'lam village located near Naavaladi .When American Mission came forward and offered to build houses for the Tamil IDPs in Aalangku'lam, SLA intervened and prevented the construction. Due to the high handed action of SLA the Tamils in this area are seriously affected and are living in fear.
"SLA has threatened the contractors to remove the construction materials already brought there. Tamils in the area openly accuse Minister Amir Ali for the situation.
"This village is traditionally a Tamil area within the administrative area of Vaaharai DS but this area is encroached by others in a systematic manner, with SLA turning a blind eye.
"I have brought this matter to the attention of Government Agent (GA) and told him that if a ban is imposed on the construction of permanent housing for the displaced Tamils, then those who have forcibly occupied the crown lands should be evicted immediately.; In the alternative GA should take steps to guarantee the construction of houses for the Tamil IDPs.
"Though we do not have faith in the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), still I have decided to take up this matter with higher authorities.
"A similar forced occupation of crown land is happening in Meeraavoadai, Vaazhaichchenai. Recently Vaazhaichchenai courts has ordered this unlawful occupation of government lands with immediate effect," Mr.Jeyananthamoorthy said.
Naavaladi Junction is located 36 km. North of Batticaloa.