Villagers near garrison still trapped
[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 April 2000, 15:01 GMT]
Mr.V. Puththirasigamani, the Divisional Secretary (DS) for the Pachchilaipalli region in Jaffna, said that 2704 civilians are awaiting permission to leave their villages that are situated close to the Elephant Pass garrison. He said that they are ready to leave their villages as soon as the Sri Lanka army grants them permission to move out to safer areas in the peninsula.
The DS visited five village officer's (Grama Sevaka) divisions that come under his administration in the war zone in Jaffna's southern sector yesterday to determine the condition of civilians who have been trapped there since heavy fighting broke between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army on March 26.
There are seven village divisions in the Pachchilaipalli region which are located close to the Sri Lanka army's Elephant Pass base complex, the Iyakkachchi base and their forward defence localities.
Twenty village divisions of the Pachchilaipalli administrative region are to the north of Pallai, including Eluthumadduval south, Kilali, Pulopalai north, south and west. Some of these village divisions, such as Muhamalai north and south and Inthirapuram, are now under the control of the Liberation Tigers.
The Pachchilaipalli DS said 23 families in the seven village divisions in the war zone have refused to leave. Reasons for their refusal vary from old age to property interests he said. Meanwhile other sources said that petty thieves may also become active in these seven village divisions once most civilians leave the area.