Navy vacates three schools in Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 14:56 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Friday handed over three government schools, whichthey had been occupying in the Trincomalee district, to the northeast provincial department of education. The handing over event took place at Iranakerni Government Tamil Mixed School hall, one of the three schools, Friday afternoon. The Contingent Commander of the Nilaveli SLN Jayantha de Silva handed over the documents related to the schools to the Trincomalee Zonal Director of Education Mr. K. Thilakaretnam. The other two schools vacated Friday are Thiriyai Tamil Maha Vidyalyam and Sakarapura Sinhala Vidyalyam.
Rear Admiral H. S. Ratnakeerthi, Commander of the Eastern Naval area, Deputy area commander D. D. W. S. Dissanayake, Lt. Commander K. U. L. Nishantha, Ms Victoria Lund, Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Trincomalee, monitor Mr.Eero Iitilainen and several education officials participated in the handover ceremony.
The education officials headed by Mr. Thilakaretnam were first taken to Thiriyai village where they were shown the buildings of Tamil Maha Vidyalyam, which had been occupied by the SLN. Civilian representatives were shown the two houses occupied by the navy during that period.
Contingent Commander, Nilaveli Jayantha de Silva, told journalists who accompanied them "the village Thiriyai is now open for resettlement of the displaced families."
He assured the gathering that the area , which had been under their control till Friday, is free of mines and booby traps. However he could not ensure that the other areas in the village, which had been not under their control, were equally free of mines. He hoped those areas also would be free of mines and booby traps.
Except school buildings and two civilian houses which had been occupied by the navy and the Hindu temple which is situated outside the perimeter of the navy camp, no other buildings were seen in the village, which has been overgrown with shrub jungles.
Thereafter education officials were taken to Sakarapura Sinhala Vidyalyam and Iranakerni Tamil government schools.
Rear Admiral Ratnakeerthi with SLMM Trincomalee head Ms Victoria Lund, Zonal Director of Education K.Thilakaretnam ,Navy contingent commander Jayanatha de Silva and other officials in front of Thiriyai Tamil Maha Vidyalayam (Photo:TamilNet)