Eastern SLA braces for Maveerer week

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Security measures in Batticaloa town and its outskirts are being further increased for the Maveerar week.

The Third Brigade HQ in the Batticaloa town has moved out groups of soldiers to Police posts and detachments in the suburbs to counter any possible threat by the LTTE during the week. Soldiers were moved into Mamankam and Iruthayapuram Police posts today.

Other SLA platoons have already beefed up the security of Police detachments in Palameen Madu, Mattikkali and Punnaicholai.

The SLA is worried that the LTTE which normally moves in after dusk to attend to its work in these suburbs of the Batticaloa town might send in more fighters and weapons to attack the weak detachments of the Police here.

map_sri_lanka.gifThe army groups that have been sent in are carrying out random on the spot checks say civilians.

Meanwhile further north, in the Valaichenai - Kalkudah area, the army and the Razeek group (see TN story) have launched a systematic search operation in villages which the LTTE frequents in the area.

Several youth who were arrested by them on Nov.19 were released today.

Residents say the army and the Razeek group move into villages with village youth who are picked up by them on the way to avoid getting shot at by the LTTE.

The army normally does not venture into the interior villages of Valaichenai for fear of LTTE ambushes in which it has been caught several times this year. Hundreds of houses have been torched by the SLA and members of the Razeek group in reprisals.

Indiscriminate shelling from SLA and Police positions have killed civilians and damaged houses and refugee camps.

Thus far Vinayagapuram (on Nov.19) Pandimadu (on Nov.20) and Kannakipuram (yesterday) have been rounded up.

A large number of people were taken in for questioning to the Kalkudah SLA camp.

This is a move by the army to pre-empt any possible LTTE build up in the Valaichenai - Kalkudah interior during the Maveerar week that could pose a threat to their isolated positions in the area.

Kalkudah was a thriving tourist spot before the war began. Large luxury tourist hotels by the beaches of this scenic bay are in ruins, bombed out many years ago.

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17.11.97   SLA screens thousands of students
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