Eastern refugees languish in Mannar

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 December 1998, 15:13 GMT]
Ninety one civilians from the district of Trincomalee who had fled their villages to the Vanni as a consequence of the war since 1990 have been stranded in Mannar for more than a month due to bureaucratic apathy and bungling while attempting to return to the east.

These civilians belonging to 34 families arrived in Mannar town through Uyilankulam on November 10 with the intention of returning to their villages in Trincomalee and were put up at the welfare centre run by the Government Agent of the district.

However, they could not proceed to Trincomalee as the Mannar Sri Lankan Army (SLA) brigade refused them permission to do so without the necessary clearance from the Divisional Secretaries (DS) of their respective places of residence in Trincomalee.

The families are from Anpuvelipuram, Paalaiyootru (suburbs of Trincomalee town), Mullippoththaanai, Kuchchaveli, Kinniya,Thambalagamam and Mutur.

Despite two letters which the Government Agent (GA) Mannar, Mr.S.M Crooz, had written to the respective Divisional Secretaries in Trincomalee, the took no to ascertain the bona fides of the refugees in question said Mannar Kachcheri sources.

The Mannar GA had urged the Trincomalee Divisional Secretaries to expedite the processing to prevent any further delay in sending the 91 persons, pointing put that many of them had been reduced to begging as they could not be officially given anything but shelter.

The Trincomalee families were denied dry rations that are normally due to refugees, as a consequence of the drastic cuts in relief supplies to the displaced in the Vanni imposed by the SL government since July this year.

However, Trincomalee GA Mr.S.D Chandradasa said today that he has already been informed about the 34 families in Mannar and that he is taking steps to ascertain whether they are actually residents of Trincomalee. He said that he will inform the military authorities in Mannar to sanction the supply of dry rations to these people.

Meanwhile, Mr.Vaithialingam Velummayilum, the Divisional Secretary of the Trincomalee town and Graveats said late this afternoon that he cleared nine families from Anpuvelipuram and Paalaiyootru today and that they will sent from Mannar tomorrow.


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