Chemmani investigation "political stunt"-paper
[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 1999, 14:33 GMT]
The Uthayan, the only news paper published in Jaffna, criticised yesterday's visit to Chemmani by geologists, forensic experts Police officials, state counsel and journalists for gathering soil samples a political gimmick by the Sri Lankan government.
The paper, in its weekend edition out today, said that the exercise was akin to the effort of the proverbial blind men who wanted to see the elephant ('kurudar Yaanai Partha Kathai').
Sanjeevi, the paper's weekend edition, points out that the additional magistrate who gave permission to the team sent by Colombo to gather soil samples from Chemmani had been appointed suddenly and brought to Jaffna for the purpose.
The paper says that the soil samples were taken from an area very close to the junction where the Chemmani-Nallur road branches off from the Kandy road.
This spot is located by the Kandy road and as such, according to the Uthayan, is quite visible to people passing along. (the Nallur-Chemmani road is closed to the public by the SLA)
The Jaffna daily then questions how anyone could have secretly buried more than three hundred people here or even attempted to remove any evidence of the burial without drawing the attention of the public.
The paper argues that Chemmani is a large area covering many square kilometers, with several conveniently remote spots off the road to Nallur in the interior, such its saltern, hidden from the public's gaze.
The Uthayan representative who accompanied the Colombo team to Chemmani yesterday had brought this to the notice of the judge who had agreed that the spot selected for the soil samples was quite off the mark.
In this context yesterday's inspection of Chemmani has to be seen as an "political stunt" by the Sri Lankan government for the purpose of facing the provincial council elections next month the paper said.
05.03.99 Replacement judge clears Chemmani visit