SL military seizes more lands at Tha'l'laadi, Mannaar

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 June 2015, 23:08 GMT]
While the civil officials in Mannaar are struggling to locate lands to settle Eezham Tamil refugees, who are scheduled to be sent back from India with the facilitation by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the SL Ministry of Resettlement, the occupying SL military in Mannaar has put up noticeboards claiming ownership to more than 50 acres of public lands along the A32 highway between Tha'l'laadi and Thirukkeatheesvaram. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has recently seized these lands near the notorious Tha'l'laadi military base, civil sources in Mannaar told TamilNet on Monday. The SL military is scheming a military cantonment to facilitate long-term Sinhalicisation of the Mannaar mainland, the sources further said.

Tha'l'laadi SLAF
The location of Tha'l'laadi SLAF camp, military airstrip [Satellite Image courtesy: Google Earth]

The rear supply base of the SL military at Tha'l'laadi was the artillery position during the genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2008 and 2009, when the SL military waged a two-pronged offensive towards Vanni ending the massive onslaught at Mu'l'livaaykkaal in Mullaiththeevu in May 2009.

Tha'l'laadi SLAF

Just before the onslaught, the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) hurriedly put up a one-kilometer long runway along the A32 highway, starting 2 km away from Tha'l'laadi junction and 1 km close to Thirukkeatheesvaram junction, on the right hand side of the highway from Mannaar to Jaffna.

SLAF has recently put up noticeboards seizing the public lands on both the sides of the A32 highway.

Tha'l'laadi SLAF
The noticeboard claiming the seizure of lands put up by the SLAF along the A32 Highway at Tha'l'laadi in Mannaar. Note the typos in Tamil text.

Tha'l'laadi SLAF
The move aims to restrict civilian access to the demarcated area surrounding the base on the left side of the A32 highway and the right side of the highway where a military runway is located.

Colombo's Forest Department and Wildlife Conservation Department have been almost competing with each other in seizing the lands in the area by putting up noticeboards. Lands belonging to resettling Tamils have also been seized through the extended seizure of lands in the name of Vangkaalai sanctuary in the district, absorbing the entire village of Chi'ru-naavat-ku'lam, situated south of the military base at Tha'l'laadi.

Resettled Tamils at Naakathaazhvu village complain that the SL military scheming a Sinhala Military Zone surrounding the Tha'l'laadi base.

A mass grave was located in December 2013 at Maanthai near the historic temple of Thirukkeatheesvaram. The Sinhala military had used the site as a killing field, according to the displaced Eezham Tamils.

The Sinhala military maintained area in Tha'l'laadi and in Thirukkeathesvaram as a High Security Zone since Eezham Tamils were uprooted from the area in 1990.

All the three forces of the occupying military have occupied residential and fertile lands in Mannaar.

A large number of uprooted Eezham Tamils left for India. The returning Eezham Tamil refugees need more lands as there are several hundred new families among them, the civil officials trying to locate lands for the resettling Tamils said.

A32, also known as Mannaar - Jaffna Road, is a 118 km long highway that connects Tha'l'laadi junction located on Mannaar - Mathavaachchi Road (A14) with Naavat-kuzhi junction located on Jaffna - Kandy Road (A9). A32 highway runs through Poonakari in Vanni mainland and Keara-theevu in the Jaffna peninsula.

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