SLA suspends resettlement in Valikaamam North HSZ villages
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 November 2010, 10:12 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Sunday suspended the resettlement of displaced people of three village (GN) divisions including I'lavaalai and Viththakapuram after the civil authorities ceremonialy launched resettlement of 970 families in Valikaamam North sector of Jaffna district on Saturday with a pooja at Nakuleasvaram temple, attended by EPDP leader and minister Douglas Devananda and Tamil National Alliance MPs. The military officials have said there were crucial security establishments with minefields on the way to the villages. As a result, the much awaited resettlement has again been postponed, this time for 'another month'. Meanwhile, informed sources said that the whole episode of resettlement was hurriedly staged at Keerimalai temple to coincide with the visit by Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna to Jaffna last week.
Valikaamam North Divisional Secretary had invited the 970 uprooted families of the villages of I'lavaalai North, I'lavaalai North-West and Viththakapuram to proceed with resettlement.
Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians M.A.Sumanthiran, Suresh Premachchandran, Maavai Senathirajah were also present with people during the ceremonial event, held at Keerimalai Nakulesvaram temple on Saturday.The uprooted families were told that they could resettle in their villages the following day.
The families proceeded on Sunday morning as informed. But, the interfering SLA refused access to the route and instructed the civilians to take a cumbersome route via Keerimalai instead of Kollan-kaladdi, which used to be their traditional access route. The military officials substantiated their claim by saying there were High Security Zone establishments at Kollan-kaladdi with minefields.
The SLA-suggested 'remedy' was to use 5 to 7 km longer route through Keerimalai. Most of the civilians uprooted from the villages already live close to Kollan-kaladdi and they have rejected the SLA proposal.
The SLA has said it would need 'another month' to come up with an alternative access route, dashing the hopes of the uprooted civilians.