SLN attempts to block MP's visit to Mandativu
[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 May 2003, 15:32 GMT]
M.K.Sivajilingam, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian who was on his way to meet residents of Mandativu, an islet close to Jaffna peninsula, was stopped at the Mandativu junction by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel who attempted to prevent the Parliamentarian from proceeding further inland, sources said. After a long argument the SLN allowed the MP on condition that he returns to the Jaffna Peninsula within three hours.
Mrr. Sivajilingam met with Mandativu residents, and representatives of Peoples organizations, and learnt fromt them the day to day difficulties encountered by the people of Mandativu.
Residents complained that visiting relatives were required to obtain permission from the SLN if they were to stay overnight in their homes. The fishe rfolks still undergo harassment from the SLN and that passes still have to be obtained from the SLN to go fishing the residents further said.
Since the only Mandativu hospital was bombed out by the SLN during the 1990 SLN offensive, residents undergo severe hardship in getting medical attention for the seriously ill. In addition to the Government's inaction, the residents woes are worsened by the Sri Lanka Navy's disposition to block any help coming to the Mandativu people, the Parliamentarian was told.
Serious issues remain to be resolved in the areas of drinking water, transportation, fishing and agriculture, the parliamentarian learnt.
Due to lack of furniture in St Patrick' children's school and Mathioli children's school, children have to sit on the ground during classes the MP was told. Sivajilingam promised the school authorities that he will make arrangements for each of the school to receive Rs.50,000 each from his own budget, sources said.
The parliamentarian cut short his visit to adhere to the 3 hour limit imposed by the SLN.