Jaffna SLMM discusses complaints over military action

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 April 2002, 13:26 GMT]
The head of the international peace-monitoring mission promised Wednesday to bring the tension prevailing in the islets around Jaffna to the attention of the Sri Lankan government, press reports in the northern peninsula said Thursday. Norwegian General (Retd) Trond Fuhrhovde made his comments at a meeting of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) officials in Jaffna, the Uthayan reported.

The Additional Government Agent for Jaffna Mr T Vaithilingam chaired the meeting to discuss ways of implementing the terms of the two-month old ceasefire agreement.

Matters brought to the attention of the SLMM included the ban on civilian travel along the A9 at weekends by Sri Lanka armed forces and harassment of civilians by Sri Lanka Navy personnel manning a checkpoint en-route to Allaipiddy.

The Tamil Tiger representative of the SLMM, Rev Father Gnanaratnam, criticsed the Navy for preventing LTTE political cadres from entering Allaipiddy to undertake their duties. The Uthayan quoted General Fuhrhovde as saying these concerns would be raised with the secretary for Sri Lanka's ministry of defence and the appropriate actions taken.

Tensions ran high in Allaipiddy earlier in the week when Sri Lanka naval personnel manning a checkpoint on the route to the island insisted a busload of civilians alight so as to be searched, the paper said.

The incident on Monday began when the bus carrying government workers and other civilians approached the checkpoint at around 9 am. Its occupants were then ordered to alight and walk for 30 metres to be searched.

The passengers refused, citing the ceasefire meant no such checks were necessary. They told the naval personnel to board the bus and search them if they wished. The passengers then demanded to see the officer in charge when the navy personnel refused to allow the bus to pass. A bitter argument developed between the officer and the bus's occupants when he maintained the same line as his men.

The argument then continued between the naval officer and Velanai District Secretary S.Ratnam who took up the case while passing by.

The Navy maintained that the checks were necessary to prevent from Tiger cadres entering the islet with cyanide capsules and telecommunication equipment. The passengers were told the Tigers might even launch a suicide attack and hence no one would be allowed through unless they cooperated with the checks.

Some passengers in the bus pointed out that Tamil Tigers who were welcomed in Jaffna by the commander of the Sri Lanka army were carrying cyanide capsules and telecommunication equipment.

The government workers and others in the bus finally agreed to the navy's orders but said they would stay away from their workplaces if this practice continued in the future. They were allowed through after rigorous searches.

The commander of the Sri Lanka navy in Jaffna visited Allaipiddy later that day to meet the Velanai District Secretary and government officials to assure that government workers would not be required to alight their busses in the future for checks. The order would be communicated to his junior officers, he said.

The workers later that day complained to the visiting SLMM team about the continuing harassment and threats by the Sri Lanka military that was preventing Tamil residents who fled that area from resettling. In the one-hour meeting they also complained that these action were the main reason for the islets being under developed than the mainland.

Government officials and other workers in Jaffna have appealed for civilian travel to be allowed through Muhamalai on the A9 at weekends to enable them to travel for leisure. The Sri Lanka Army's current restriction on travel only between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm on weekdays mean they are unable to use the road they say.

 

Latest 15 Reports
25.09.17 19:22  
Political prisoners resume hunger-strike as Colombo transfers hearings to Anuradhapura
24.09.17 22:26   Photo
Colombo's ‘State Land’ seizure to affect thousands in Vadamaraadchi East
23.09.17 09:46   Photo
Tamil children massacred by CBK's Sinhala Air Force remembered in Jaffna
22.09.17 23:32   Photo
Sinhala colonisation stepped up, genocidal system cannot be transformed through ‘consensus’
21.09.17 22:14   Photo
Champoor Tamils’ security, livelihood threatened by US military partnership with genocidal Sri Lanka
20.09.17 23:37   Photo
Sathasivam papers on Sumerian-Tamil connections see the light of day
19.09.17 22:53  
Tamil village in Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa border Sinhalicized by Mahaweli authority, Survey Dept
18.09.17 18:18   Photo
Uprooted people find houses destroyed by SL Navy in Ira'nai-theevu after 2008
17.09.17 22:07  
Muslims oppose Colombo's ‘Sinhala-only’ policy in public administration of Ampaa'rai
16.09.17 23:49  
Families of enforced disappeared want answers, no deceptive bills to genocidal system
15.09.17 23:30   Photo
30th remembrance of Lt Col Thileepan strengthens resolve among Eezham Tamils
14.09.17 22:52   Photo
Sirisena’s Mahaweli ministry twists old records to Sinhalicize Paduvaankarai
13.09.17 16:39  
EPRLF opposes 20A to SL Constitution, ITAK duo wrongs again says Premachandran
12.09.17 23:17   Photo
Alienate lands to Sinhala colonists or face transfer: SL Governor warns Tamil DS in Vanni
11.09.17 12:10  
Risking legal action, Hakeem wants to transfer lands to Hizbulla’s colony in Batticaloa
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=6875