‘Don’t resettle in areas mined by SLA’ - LTTE

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 September 2001, 04:44 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Friday that displaced civilians in Jaffna are being resettled in areas where land mines laid by the Sri Lanka army haven’t been removed. They said that the family of six that was killed in a land mine explosion on 24 September was among the displaced residents who were resettled in Irupalai where no SLA mines fields have been cleared so far. Meanwhile, Jaffna court sources said that residents of Irupalai had complained to Jaffna District Judge T. Vignarajah about the danger they face from land mines left behind in the village by the SLA when he visited the scene of the explosion that killed the family on 24 September. The sources said that the matter would be recorded at the inquest.

A leaflet issued by the LTTE’s political wing in the Jaffna district states, “The army laid many mine fields in the Irupalai area when it was constructing defences there, expecting an onslaught by us during Operation Unceasing Waves IV. None of these mines and mine fields have been removed so. Civilians who were resettled in Irupalai were not even warned of the danger.”

“Many people who were resettled by the army in similarly dangerous zones in the Thenmaradchi division where war can break out anytime have lost limb and life due to land mine explosions. There too our warnings were ignored. And the resettled civilians were not admonished of the danger posed by the mines,” the LTTE leaflet says.

Jaffna court sources said that the villagers of Irupalai had informed the Jaffna district judge that two persons were killed when the mini - tractor in which they were travelling was hit by a land mine in ‘V.H Lane’ in December last year and that many cattle and goats in the village have been killed by the mines left behind by the army.

The Irupalai residents had pointed out to him that they come to know the presence of anti personnel mines laid by the SLA in many parts of the village only when they are triggered off by ripe coconuts which fall from trees.

 

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