STF refuses to vacate camp encompassing private homes
[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 August 2003, 12:36 GMT]
Special Task Force (STF) soldiers in Urani in Pottuvil, Amparai district, have refused to vacate the STF camp that encompasses several private residences and demanded that the owners should sell their property to the STF, security sources in the east said.
In 1990 during the onset of Eelam War II, Urani villagers, fearing for their safety, sought refuge at the Thirukovil refugee camp. The STF moved into Urani and established a camp, the perimeter of which encircled 18 private residences.
The private land area attached to each residence ranged from half an acre to four acres and contained income generating coconut plantations, several mango and jakfruit trees.
Former residents who returned to their village hoping to resettle were refused permission by the STF to visit their homes. STF soldiers told the villagers that they are prepared to pay up to 5 lakhs for their land and that the villagers should use the adjoining forest land to build their new homes.
The Urani residents have complained to Amparai district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Ariyanayagam ChandraNehru who has promised to take up their case with appropriate authorities.