Colombo-backed gang threatens resettled Tamil families in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 January 2012, 02:59 GMT]
A gang of more than one hundred fifty Sinhalese who were brought to Channaar village in Mannaar district on Sunday by a government minister had threatened resettled Tamil families to leave the village immediately to give room for the majority community. The intimidation of Tamil families who have suffered in the conflict and relatives of the killed LTTE cadres had been engineered by Minister Rischard Bathiudeen and Maanthai West Divisional Secretary with the blessing of the Colombo government, according to reports emerging from the area.

The Sinhala gang had then started clearing the jungle area in Channaar with heavy equipment including bulldozers and ordered the residents to leave the village immediately, sources said.

Residents of the village and Sinhala gang thereafter had entered into a heated argument and altercation.

Immediately troops of the Sri Lanka Army and police personnel were called in to bring the situation under control. SLA soldiers had also threatened the villagers to leave the area, labeling them as illegal occupants, according to the villagers.

Villagers said the Sinhala gang had been brought to the village on the request from Muslim councilor of the Maanthai West Predesiya Sabah with the support of the Maanthai West DS who is a strong supporter of Minister Rischard Bathiuthdeen.

Some members of the Sinhala gang had gone to the village again and forced members of thirty five families to sign documents, but the villagers had allegedly refused to sign.

On receipt of complaints by the affected families Mannaar Additional Government S. Mehanathan had visited the area in the absence of the Mannaar Government Agent and observed the ground situation.

Most of the families residing in the Channaar village are relatives of members of LTTE cadres who had died in the battle and are in possession of legally valid documents that they are entitled to the said lands.


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