Army demolishes shops
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 February 1999, 14:10 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) is demolishing two shops at the Nagar Kovil junction for bricks to reinforce its sentry points in the area said residents. The owners were neither notified nor offered compensation. The army moved into the Nagar Kovil area last year and established a camp at the junction.
The purpose of this SLA detachment was to deny access to the Liberation Tigers operating on either side of Nagar Kovil on Jaffna's southeaster coast.
Earlier, about 28 km. of Jaffna's southeastern coast and its narrow hinterland, separated by a lagoon from Thenmaradchi and comprising about ten villages and hamlets, remained beyond the control of the army.
Short of manpower to control the whole area, the SLA chose to keep the Nagar Kovil junction and the road that links it with the A9 (the Kandy Road) at Eluthumattuvaal.
The aim was to preclude, with logistical and tactical ease, any military build up by the Liberation Tigers in those parts of the southeastern coast on either side of Nagar Kovil that are not under the SLA's control.
As a consequence, the SLA has shown no interest in restoring civilian life back to normal at the Nagar Kovil junction, said civilians in the area. So the shops could not be reopened for business. Now they can never be, they added.