Civilians protest military blocks

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 July 2002, 03:27 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy Monday imposed a ban on civilian traffic on the Vankalavadi Road where one of its bases is located, the Uthayan newspaper reported. Civilians who use the road have been told to use a temporary road cleared through farmland, away from Navy sentry points to the south of the base.

The navy is said to have removed its positions from houses situated adjacent to Velanai Central College and Velanai Saivapragasa Vidyalayam, both situated west of the base. It has, however, occupied more houses to the east of the base and are involved in expanding the base, according to residents there. They say a huge earth bund is being constructed using bulldozers.

Meanwhile, residents of Kommathurai say the Sri Lanka Army still forces them to travel on a detour along temporary road that runs around its camp there, instead of the main road that runs through the camp, the Virakesari. Last week the army allowed access to the Sri Siththy Vinayagar temple and the Vinayagar Vidyalayam there. Residents say the road currently in use is littered with potholes.


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