Batticaloa masons allege extortion by Pillayan group
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 June 2008, 03:22 GMT]
Masons involved in construction of houses donated by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Batticaloa district are alleging that Pillayan group operatives are extorting money from them, informed sources in Batticaloa said.
700 houses worth Rs. 7, 50,000 are being constructed in Palaachcholai, Tha'lavaay, and Siththaa’ndi in Ea’raavoorpattu Chengkaladi administrative area Batticaloa district with financial assistance provided by Australia and Switzerland.
When this scheme was introduced with foreign funding Pillayan group demanded that the construction of these houses should be handed over to them. However, donors involved in implementing this housing scheme intervened to reject this demand.
Later, the entire construction scheme was distributed among the masons based on the condition that each of them would have to complete the construction of three houses under the direct supervision of the donors.
Meanwhile, Pillyan group operatives have demanded that for every house constructed Rs.10,000/= should be given to them as protection money and the masons fearing for the worst had agreed to their demands since the operatives warned that severe action will be taken if any one divulges about their demands, a spokesperson for the masons said.
About 75 percent of the construction is already complete and the entire scheme will be complete by December, the spokesperson added.