SLA permits annual Vattaappazhai Pongkal festival in Mullaiththeevu
[TamilNet, Monday, 24 May 2010, 05:34 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities have permitted the annual Pongal festival in the historically famous Amman Koayil located in Vattaappazhai in Mullaiththeevu district to be held Monday but thousands of uprooted civilians from Mullaiththeevu still held in the camps are disinterested in taking part in the Pongal festival as they have been refused permission to resettle in their own places, sources in Vavuniyaa said. The government, however, is making a great show of the festival providing free transport to Vattaappazhai Pongkal festival from Vavuniyaa, the sources added.
Uprooted civilians from Vanni still held in the SLA camps in Jaffna district too have not shown interest in attending the annual Amman Koayil Pongal festival.
Meanwhile, in Jaffna peninsula SLA has begun admitting devotees to observe religious festivals in temples and churches caught in the High Security Zones (HSZs) occupied by SLA for the last 20 years, sources in Jaffna said.
The devotees attending these events are checked by SLA before entering the HSZs and taken to the temples or churches under SLA supervision. The devotees have to perform their religious activities and other matters under the control of SLA soldiers and are brought out of the HSZs by them.
This is only an eyewash by the SLA which intends to occupy the uprooted people’s properties permanently under the pretext of HSZs, Saiva Organizations in the peninsula said.