Ponnalai displaced to discontinue picketing for one week
[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 January 2003, 22:21 GMT]
Hundreds of displaced people of Ponnalai who have been picketing in front of the office of the Chankanai Divisional Secretariat (DS), Thursday called off the protest for a week on a request by the Jaffna Government Agent, sources said.
The Ponnalai People's Forum (PPF) launched the picketing campaign Monday demanding that the SLN should vacate their homes and they should be allowed to resettle in their villages.
More than eight hundred families were displaced when the SLN declared the villages of Ponnalai, Kattupulam, Pandavettai, and Varuththolai in the Jaffna district as falling under a high security zone in 1990, following military operation by the Sri Lanka Army. Since then the SLN has been occupying the civilian homes in these villages, sources said.
When the campaign entered its fourth day Thursday, the GA held a discussion with the delegation of the PPF at Jaffna District Secretariat and requested them to postpone the picketing for a week to give time for the SLN to implement its assurance offered to him.
The GA is reported to have told the PPF delegation that the SLN had given an undertaking to withdraw the forward defence line on the Ponnalai-Keerimalai road by 110 meters within a week's time.