SLA permits paddy cultivation upto Chemma'ni

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 July 2008, 00:23 GMT]
After a lapse of nearly 12 years, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officers in the North have recently granted permission for the resumption of agricultural activities in the paddy fields in Ariyaalai, a suburb within Jaffna Municipal council. This was earlier identified as an area where civilians believed to have disappeared during 1996/1997 were murdered and buried. The SLA has now permitted cultivation in the large swath of land area lying along A9 Highway, from Ariyaalai Junction up to Chemma'ni including the old railway crossing in Naavatkuzhi, a spokesperson for the Federation of Ariyaalai Farmers said .

Based on the evidence given by the key witness, Sri Lanka Army Corporal Rajapaksa during the rape and murder trial of Krishanthy Kumarasamy that hundreds of bodies were buried in this land, a large scale excavation was conducted in 1998 and 1999.

A large number of civilians, who were displaced from Thenmaraadchi in 1996 and 1997 during 'Riviresa' military operation of the SLA, disappeared while returning to Valikaamam. According to the SLA Corporal Rajapakse, many of the disappeared were murdered and buried in this area. Rajapakse had specifically said many bodies were dumped in a well in the premises of a Hindu temple in the area.

Suspicions were aired when the excavations failed to reveal any significant amount of human remains.

There were at least 52 cases of Habeas Corpus, at that time, lying in arrears unattended for many years in Jaffna High Courts.

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