Jaffna residents reluctant to return due to insecurity- Bishop

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 April 2007, 11:02 GMT]
"Of the more than 55,000 residents of Jaffna peninsula who left the peninsula in ships and planes seeking safety and refuge outside the peninsula, nearly 65% of them have not returned because of the escalating number of killings, abductions, forced disappearances, threat to lives, intimidation, harassment and restrictions in the peninsula," Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam said, in a statement to media Sunday, following his participation along with the representatives of the People's Committee for Justice and Peace (PCJP) in meeting with the Jaffna Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri.

Bishop Thomas Soundaranayagam
Bishop Thomas Soundaranayagam
"The A9 land route to the peninsula closed by the SLA in August 2006 remaining closed and no alternate route being found yet is another reason, keeping the people of the peninsula away from their homes," the Bishop said.

"It is almost impossible to live a normal life, as all possibilities to work, engage in business and other occupations have been severely hampered due to restrictions of the armed forces and scarcity of essentials commodities," the Bishop added.

"No action has been taken to restore the derailed peace talks.

"Instead of pursuing a path of peace the Sri Lanka government is waging a systematic war on the Tamil areas. These are additional reasons for the people's reluctance to return home," he added.

"I have pointed out these to Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri besides drawing his attention to the missing service men of the catholic church," the Bishop said.

 

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