New Army base in Columbuthurai
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 June 2002, 20:50 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army is constructing a new base near the Maternity Home in Nedunkulam, Columbuthurai in the outskirts of Jaffna town, local press reports said Tuesday. The Army is bulldozing the walls, fences and trees on both sides of the Nedunkulam Road in preparation, the Uthayan newspaper reported.
The SLA's construction has blocked plans by people displaced from the area to resettle in their homes, the Uthayan said.
Columbuthurai is a strategically located area in the outskirts of Jaffna that was the site of many fierce battles between the Liberation Tigers and SLA in 2000. It is also an alleged site of mass-graves identified by several ex-soldiers of the SLA who were tried in the rape and murder of Jaffna school girl Krishanthi Kumaraswamy.
In September 1999, former SLA Corporal Somaratna Rajapaksha and ex-trooper S.A.Perera identified five sites in Jaffna where civilians murdered by SLA troops were said to be buried. Two were located near an SLA camp at Columbuthurai.