Omanthai celebrates Pongal after five years

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 13:35 GMT]
In addition to visiting their lands and the remnants of their war ravaged homes, people of Omanthai celebrated Thai Pongal in the famous Varasithi Vinayagar Hindu Temple after a lapse of five years,sources visiting Omanthai said today.

Participating with more than five hundred Omanthai residents in the celebrations were Parliamentarians K. Rajakuganeswaran, N,. Sivasakthi Anandan, Vavuniya Government Agent K. Ganesh, District Secretary S. Sathyaseelan, Chettikulam Secretary Ms.T. Thurasamy and Ms. Ketheeswaran. Omanthai Sri Lanka Military commander Colonel Mosad, Major Mariadunne, and Major Jayantha and other police officers also joined the ceremony, sources said.

Former residents of Omanthai have been given permission to resettle, military sources said. They added, however, that danger of landmines still exists and that people can resettle only after mine clearing operation is completed and the area declared safe.

Major General Susil Chandrapala, Vanni district Military Commander, inspected the regions that have been approved for resettlement. Military sources confirmed that he also had discussions with the local military commanders on matters related to resettlement.

Pongal celebrations were widely conducted in Vavuniya, sources said. Vanni district Chief of Police, W.M. Tharmaratne, Police Commissioner Wilbert Mahanayake and Vavuniya Chief Inspectro Kabila Bandara joined many other police officers in the Thai Pongal celebrations at Vavuniya Kandasamy Kovil, sources said.

 

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