MP demands removal of Periyaneelavanai checkpoint
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 March 2003, 17:00 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament (MP) from the Ampara district, Mr. A. Chandraneru, has requested in a letter to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, that the police checkpoint operating from the Cultivation Services Office at Periyaneelavanai in the Ampara district should be removed, sources said.
Periyaneelavanai is located 34 km south of Batticaloa town at the border between the Ampara and Batticaloa districts and has traditionally been a Tamil village. The police checkpoint was created at the Cultivation Services Office building in 1990, citing the need for security to the neighboring Maruthamunai village, which is predominantly Muslim. As a result, the Cultivation Services Office was temporarily shifted to another location and it has remained there ever since.
There is a Hindu temple and a school in front of the police post. The presence of the police post has created several problems for students attending the school and devotees visiting the temple.
The public in the area has pointed out these facts to the MP and has stressed the need for the withdrawal of the police post from this location. Moreover, the Department of Cultivation Services has also requested that the police should withdraw from the building. Mr. Chandraneru’s letter to the PM cites these demands.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarian, Mr. H.M.M. Haris, has written to the Kalmunai Deputy Superintendent of Police that the checkpoint should not be removed, saying the removal would undermine the security of the Muslim people. This competing demand has delayed the removal of the checkpoint, sources said.