SLA Commander wants fleeing Trinco refugees sent back

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 May 2006, 02:27 GMT]
Maj. Gen. Munasinghe, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) 21-2 Brigade in Mannar has directed Mannar Divisional Secretary Ms. Stanley de Mel Friday morning to advise the Tamil refugees from Trincomalee, arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in the TalaiMannar seas while fleeing to Tamil Nadu, to return to their homes in Trincomalee, said sources from Mannar. The Tamil refugees were fleeing for safety from aerial bombardment and artillery fire from Sri Lanka Security forces in several areas of Trincomalee, civil society sources said.

Maj. Gen. Munasinge told the Divisional Secretary that the refugees are from SLA controlled area in Trincomalee where law and order reign, adding that the SLA would assume responsibility for their safety, added the sources.

Thursday evening around 5.30 p.m, SLN Commanding Officer Gunawardne handed 105 Trincomalee refugees arrested by the SLN on Talaimanar seas to Mannar district Secretary Ms. de Mel, said sources in Talai Mannar said.

The 15 boatmen arrested were handed to TalaiMannar police and later released on surety bail, 25,000 rupees per head.

The 105 refugees are being kept at the TalaiMannar St. Lawrence Maha Vidyalam.

Additional 24 of persons are in in TalaiMannar St. Lawrence Church, and 52 families consisting of 216 members are staying in Our Lady of Victory Church in Pesalai.

All refugees have refused to return to their homes in Trincomallee when advised to do so by the Divisional Secretary, said the sources.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Munasinghe, Friday afternoon, again had phoned the Divisional Secretary Ms. Stanley de Mel and asked whether the refugees are ready to get back to their homes in the SLA controlled region in Trincomalee, added the sources.

 

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