SLN promises to investigate Salli rampage

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 February 2000, 16:39 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has announced that an investigation would be conducted into the Thursday incidents at Salli village in the Trincomalee District and those naval personnel found guilty would be punished.

A top official representing the SLN at a conference held today afternoon at the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police expressed regret over the incidents, which took place on Thursday night at Salli.

A group of SLN personnel went on rampage on Thursday night after an ambush by the Liberation Tigers, and burnt down over 12 houses, a motor bicycle, a van and other valuable properties belonged to villagers. Some villagers were also severely assaulted.

A fifty-year old widow, Ranjitham, cried at the conference when she described that SLN personnel burned down her three sewing machines on Thursday. She said she earned her livelihood by sewing.

The senior Superintendent of Police has instructed his officials to buy a sewing machine from the funds of Police Welfare Fund. Trincomalee's Divisional Secretary Mr.V.Velummylum promised to construct new cadjan huts replacing burnt ones.

More than thousand villagers staged a picketing this morning, demanding:
  • 1. The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) camp at Salli village should be replaced with SLA camp or Police post.
  • 2. Compensation should be paid for the loss of properties.
  • 3. Assurance should be given for the security of lives and properties of Salli people.

    They sat on the middle of the road at Pillaikulam bridge on Uppuveli-Kuchchaveli road, disrupting all vehicular movements to and from Trincomalee to Kuchchaveli.

    The picketing was called off around 11 a.m. after Divisional Secretary Mr.V.Velummylum, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Colonel Abeyasekara and Assistant Superintendent of Police, Uppuveli, Mr.Ranaweera who visited the scene assured that their demands would be taken up for discussion at a conference later today.

    The conference was convened immediately after Salli villagers called off their protest.


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