Civilians return to Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 November 1999, 10:51 GMT]
Deserted Vavuniya town is becoming alive after about a week as thousands of residents have begun to trickle into the town from adjoining villages from this morning sources said.

Government offices and banks have started functioning, and teachers have reported to their respective schools. But students have not attended schools the sources said.

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A Tamil family leaving the northern town of Vavuniya on November 11.Photo: REUTERS
Most of the business establishments started their normal activities. However some shops have not re-opened as the owners of these institutions have removed the entire stocks elsewhere for safety, the sources said. Train and bus services have returned to normalcy, they said.

A resident in the town told TamilNet thousands of people have started their return journey to their homes with their belongings, by bicycles, motor cycles, cars,three-wheelers and tractors.

Last week nearly one hundred thousand residents of Vavuniya moved out of the town following radio broadcasts by the Liberation Tigers requesting civilians to relocate to designated safe areas as the town might come under attack at any time.

The Liberation Tigers, however, requested last evening the residents of Vavuniya could return to their homes

The radio said the harsh conditions the displaced people were forced to endure and appeals by humanitarian organisations had prompted the reversal of the evacuation, and appreciated the co-operation the people of Vavuniya had extended.

However they warned civilians to stay away from the Sri Lanka Army camps in the garrison town.


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