News in Brief:
[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 January 2000, 13:25 GMT]
Special census in Vavuniya, Villagers protest against guns, Coconut plantations being cut down.
Special census in Vavuniya
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities have printed special forms to gather information about residents in Vavuniya sources said.
The forms were distributed yesterday to residents in Kovitkulam, Irambaikkulam.
The residents are asked to provide information about number of family members, the vehicles they use, if anyone is a member of a militant organisation and their details, details of anyone injured/killed in the war, details of family members living abroad and etc.
The SLA has also stipulated new restrictions to travel to LTTE held Vanni region.
According to the new regulations, travellers will have to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). However, sources said the forms are available only at the Vavuniya Kachcheri. As a result, travellers from the south will have to wait in Vavuniya until their applications are considered and approved by the MoD in Colombo.
Villagers protest against guns
Villagers of Mullaiyadi in Pallai in the Thenmaradchi staged a protest on Friday against establishing artillery guns by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in residential areas.
They say the SLA has moved several of its artillery units to Pallai after the fighting erupted in the Elephant Pass region.
The villagers marched towards the SLA camp in Palai and handed over a memorandum to the officer in charge of the area. Later a meeting was also held at the Pallai police station.
Coconut plantations being cut down
A large number of coconut trees are being cut down in the Thenmaradchi division by the SLA to build bunkers and defence posts resident said.
Over one thousand trees have been cut down in the Soranpattu, Pulopallai area last week alone according to them.
Villagers allege that coconut plantations in the Palai-Eluthumadduval areas are being destroyed.
According to a report by Coconut development board 10,000 coconut tress have been cut down in this areas, which has resulted in several plantations being abandoned.