SLA expands Navalady camp

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 July 2003, 11:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are taking steps to expand and fortify its camp in Navalady junction near Valaichenai, security sources in Batticaloa said. Efforts by the SLA to make the Kallady camp permanent and the imposition of other arbitrary security measures such as stopping Batticaloa bound night trains at Welikande for more than two hours are causing fear and anxiety among Batticaloa residents, according civil society sources.

Navalady junction lies 35km north of Batticaloa town where Trincomalee Road (Vakarai Road) branches off from the Batticaloa-Colombo road.

In the last several days SLA soldiers have been expanding the Navalady camp by more than 50 meters on all sides. Large earth bounds for additional reinforcement, new bunkers, security fences and watch towers are being built to fortify the camp, security sources said.

The Navalady camp was established in 1990. Since Batticaloa-Colombo road serves as the main access road to Minneri, housing the SLA's 23rd division, to the SLA 23-2 brigade in the Vakarai-Valaichenai region and to the 23-3 brigade in the Batticaloa area, Navalady is considered a militarily key junction by the Sri Lanka military.

After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, although many main roads that pass close to SLA camps and police stations have been reopened for traffic, the road from Navalady Junction to Minneri remain closed for traffic. Residents of the area use internal gravel roads with much difficulty, according to Minneri villagers.

Related Articles:
03.07.03   SLA delays Batticaloa bound train for two hours
03.07.03   STF resumes checks at Batticaloa ferry points
02.07.03   Move to make SLA camp permanent sparks protest


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