MP lists occupied temples and schools in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 June 2002, 22:10 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.Jospeh Pararajasingham Friday sent a list of places of worship, schools and public buildings now being occupied by the Sri lankan armed forces in the Batticaloa district to the Prime Minister. According to the list, 8 schools, 5 temples and several public buildings in Batticaloa are either occupied by government forces or situated within the perimeter of their camps.

The MP said that he faxed the list Friday morning on a request made by the Prime Minister.

According to the list, the following schools are occupied by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

  1. Pilliayaradi Government Tamil Mixed School (GTMS) -occupied by the Sri Lankan Army(SLA).
  2. Morokottanchcenai Ramakrishna Vidiyalyam -occupied by the SLA.
  3. Periyakallar Government Tamil Mixed School- occupied by Police.
  4. Puthur Sithy Vinayagar Vidyalyam -situated within the perimeter of the Sri Lankan Air Force(SLAF) base.
  5. Valaiyiravu M.M.T.M.S. - situated within the perimeter of the SLAF base.
  6. Kommathurai Vinayagar Vidiyalyam - situated within the perimeter of SLA base.
  7. Mandoor 13th colony Tamil School - situated within the perimeter of the Special Task Forces (STF) camp.
  8. Cheddipalayam Maha Vidiyalyam - the STF maintains a camp in front of the school, denying free access to the students.


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Chenkalady Sri Sithy Vinayagar Temple. (Photo: TamilNet)
Mr. Pararajasingham's letter to the PM provides more details of the situation in each of the temples and schools.

Although the SLA has withdrawn weapons from Kommanthurai Sri Devi Temple and Kommanthurai Sri Sithy Vinayagar Temple, both are within the SLA controlled area. Devotees cannot go to these temples for worship as the main road is blocked by the SLA.

Though the STF has withdrawn from the Kurumanvely Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple, the boundary wall of it is covered with barbed wire. One of the gates of this temple has been pried open. As the STF still occupies the adjoining Pachiamman temple and the Mariamman temple --the former being used as a canteen and the latter as a store by the STF --there is no freedom of access to the devotees.

The SLA has withdrawn totally from the Mamangam Pilliayar temple, but it has pitched a camp in front of the temple, causing inconvenience to the devotees. The Puthur Sithy Vinayagar Temple falls within the perimeter of the SLAF base, and free access is denied to devotees.

The SLA still occupies the Batticaloa YMHA (Young Men's Hindu Association) building.

According to the list sent by Mr.Mr.Jospeh Pararajasingham, the SLA occupies following public buildings in Batticaloa:

  1. Municipal Council building
  2. Town Hall
  3. Rest House
  4. Webber stadium
  5. Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Local Government in the Batticaloa town
  6. Agricultural service building in Kaluwanchchikudy.
  7. Railway station (occupied by the Sri Lanka Police).


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Webber stadium (Photo: TamilNet)

 

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