Sri Lanka military fails to dissuade Jaffna death fast

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 January 2004, 17:45 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Saturday urged community leaders of people displaced from Maravanpulavu, Thanangkilappu and Koilakandy in Jaffna’s Thenmaradchi division not to begin a fast unto death on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day next week. A group of displaced persons led by Mr. Sellakkili Anandaranjan say it would fast to death from 4 February if the Sri Lanka army does not permit them to go back to their garrisoned villages.

Brigadier. G. A Chandrasiri, a Sri Lanka army officer who met the persons planning the fast to death protest, said that the military is prepared to let 100 families resettle in their homes 100 meters on either side of its forward defence line between Nunavil and Maravanpulavu.

The organisers of the protest fast however told the officer that the military had gone back on its word last year after promising to let farmers in the area cultivate their fields. They told Brig. Chandrasiri that they are not prepared to accept his promise in the light of this experience.

“If the army does not give us a concrete answer about letting us resettle in our villages in a day or two our fasting will begin on 4 February (Sri Lanka’s independence day) as planned”, Mr. Anandaranjan said.

The meeting was convened at the Koilakandy Mahalatchumi Community Centre Saturday. Representatives of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF, Sri Lanka Human Rights commission and the Thenmaradchi divisional secretary, Mr. S. Sreenivasan were present.

 

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