Destruction of coconut trees continues despite MoU

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 September 2003, 02:54 GMT]
Several owners who visited their coconut estates located in Thenmaradchchi division inside the high security zone in Jaffna district last week complained Monday that several hundred coconut trees that survived the war have been found felled and removed from the fenced compounds, civil group sources said.

From last Saturday the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers are escorting groups of estate owners daily to their coconut estates from the Mirusuvil military civil administration office .

SLA soldiers conduct the guided visit to several hundred acres of coconut estates located in Muhamalai, Kilali, Karambagam and Eluthumadduval, sources said.

Some of the owners who visited their estates in the company of a coconut development authority officer last week said later that they were not allowed by the SLA to enter their estates but instead were shown their estates from the main road, sources said.

Coconut industry plays a vital role in the economic development of Jaffna district, and Thenmaradchchi division contributes significantly to meet district's demand for coconut products, sources said.


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