SLA exacerbates war fear in east

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 15:47 GMT]
Residents in the east coast villages of Kiran and Maankerni said Thursday the actions of the Sri Lanka army here is exacerbating fears among them that the war might erupt again soon. Soldiers from the SLA camp in Kiran, 28 kilometres north of Batticaloa, told people in the area Tuesday to make coffins and expect the war to break out again anytime. Residents of Maankerni, 47 kilometres north of Batticaloa, said that the SLA is photographing the members of every family in the village and has bulldozed the local cemetery to reinforce its defences.

"Everyone here is worried that the photos might cost them their lives for they believe the SLA is gathering this information in preparation for war", a village official said.

The SLA is also photographing houses visited by political workers of the Liberation Tigers in Valaichenai, Kannankiramam and Puthukkudiyiruppu, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa, sources said. "This too is creating fear among the villagers that the Sri Lankan military is preparing dossiers on them to retaliate when war breaks out again", Mr. Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy, a senior journalist in Batticaloa north, said.

The SLA began clearing the shrub jungle on either side of the road in Maankerni and reinforcing its defences in the area with bricks and wood from houses dilapidated by the war. Residents said the military has destroyed the Maankerni cemetery completely while reinforcing its defence in the village. There are more than five hundred families in Maankerni.

Meanwhile, the SLA's military Police visited the office of the Thinakkathir, the Tamil daily published in Batticaloa, Thursday morning to make inquiries regarding reports that soldiers had threatened people in Kiran this week.


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