"SLA must quit temples"

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 1999, 11:47 GMT]
The Hindu youth organisations of Vadamaradchi and Thenmaradchi sent a memorandum to the Divisional Secretaries (DS) of Pt.Pedro, Palai and Maruthankerni today urging them to take steps to move out the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) that is encamped in the premises of several temples in these parts.

The memorandum points out that devotees are unable to hold 'poojas' in these temples because of the SLA's presence.

Currently the army is camped by the Vallipuram Aalvaaar temple and the Naagathambiraan temple at Nagar temple, both south of Pt.Pedro in the Vadamaradchi division.

And in the Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna the army has detachments at the Vairavar shrine in Maasaar, at the Pilliyaar temple in Iyakkkachchi and at the Thiriyai Amman temple in Pachchilaippalli.

The SLA and Sri Lankan Police deployed in the war zone select places for setting up their detachments not only for their tactical, logistical or territorial advantages.

Many SLA, STF and Police camps are located in or by schools, temples, crowded neighbourhoods and even hospitals specifically with a view to deterring the Liberation Tigers from attacking.

This continues to be the case despite repeated appeals by citizen's committees, religious bodies, politicians etc.

In the Batticaloa district, the SLA is encamped by the local temple at Morokkottaanchenai.

The camp is in the premises and buildings of the village school which has been functioning for more than seven years by the SLA detachment in temporary thatched sheds and under trees.

The military trained Police detachment is in the premises of the Maamangam temple on the outskirts of Batticaloa town.

The STF camp at Chettipalayam, south of Batticaloa is located similarly.

The buildings and premises of the base hospital at Thirukkovil, the large Tamil village on the southeastern coast of the island, 76 kilometers south of Batticaloa has been occupied by a detachment of the Special Task Force since 1985.

Related feature:

14.12.1997: TamilNet:

Eastern schools seen shielding SLA camps

 

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