SLA leaves five schools, unusable say officials

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 May 2002, 12:45 GMT]
Education officials in Jaffna said Monday that they cannot commence classes in two schools vacated by the Sri Lanka Army in the Kopay division because most of the buildings in them are damaged. "We havenít got any assurance from the military or the education ministry that the two schools are free of landmines and booby traps", one of them said. The Sri Lankan security forces occupy more than 80 schools in the Northeast province of the island, but have vacated only three in the north and two in the east so far.

The Sri Lanka Police vacated the Veeramunai Ramakrishna School, 52 kilometers southwest of Batticaloa this week. Officials and parents said that the Police had removed the roofs from all the buildings of the school. The Police and the Special Task Force were encamped in the Veeramunai School since 1990. The SLA left the Kayankerni Saraswathi School, 38 kilometers north of Batticaloa, last week

The SLA vacated the Achchelu Saivapragasa Vidiyasaalai and Achchelu Methodist Mission Tamil School in the Kopay division Sunday evening under the terms of the ceasefire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo signed on 24 February this year. Another school at Maalusanthi in the Vadamaradchi division was vacated by the SLA this week.

The schools were occupied by the SLA since 1996.

Most of the buildings of these schools are damaged and not in a state to commence classes, according to parents and education officials who visited the institutions after the SLA left. Parents said they are worried about the safety of their children because the no information has been given to them about the lay out of the mine fields and booby traps in the premises and surroundings of the two schools.


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