Ejected IDP family denies wrongdoing

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 July 2008, 12:39 GMT]
A widowed Tamil woman and three children displaced from Trincomalee district and living in an interim camp in Kalviyangkaadu, Batticaloa, and recently ejected from the camp by the village officer (GS) of the area for immoral conduct, has called for justice from Human Rights Commission (HRC).

The victim, Mrs. Sivanatham Packyawathy , 42, mother of three children including a 17-year daughter and two sons have complained to HRC officials that Kalviyangkaadu village officer A.Wijeyaratnam has falsely accused that her daughter is involved in immoral activities and ejected their family from the interim camp.

Thousand of civilians displaced from Trincomalee in 2006 seeking refuge in Batticaloa district are languishing in interim camps where they are being provided with relief supplies. Four families are being accommodated in each of the temporary sheds constructed in these camps. While these families are already facing various hardships, the village officer of the area has accused the teenage daughter of Mrs.Packyawathy being involved in immoral activitities.

Packyawathy, whose husband was shot and killed in 1990 by Sri Lanka Army (SLA), in her complaint lodged with HRC has questioned the credibility of the allegation of prostitution by her daughter stating that four families are cramped together without any basic amenities in each of the temporary sheds constructed in the camp by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Kalviyangkaadu GS has earlier been accused of misappropriating relief supplies issued for the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) residing in this camp, and the affected civilians had already protested against his action and notified the government departments against his fraudulent activities.

Sisciplinary action was taken against Mr.Wijeyaratnam and as a result he has begun taking revenge against those families who acted against him, local sources said.

Mr. Wijeyaratnam collected signatures from the inmates of the camp, withdrew Packyawathy's refugee card, relief supplies card and also obtained by force a letter from Packyawathy stating that she does not wish to reside in this camp, sources added.

Meanwhile, United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) officials have already taken steps to accommodate the affected family elsewhere.

Mrs.Packyawathy has also lodged a complaint with Manmunai North District Secretariat stating that making use of signatures collected based on false allegation, the village officer has so far not been investigated.

She has called for the government officials concerned to find out the facts.


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