SLA builds large camp in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 June 2002, 17:59 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is constructing a large new base on a 450 acre site near Chavakachcheri, taking in many homes and fields, residents in Thenmaradchchi said this week. Construction work started last Friday in Nunavil East to the north of the Kandy road.

Heavy equipment is being used in the first phase to construct a security bund that will form the perimeter of the base, residents said. The base will stretch southwards from Chavakachcheri Sangam to the rail track.

The plots of several homes in the area that were damaged by fighting in this area two years ago have been incorporated into the base. Most of these houses were in the process of being repaired by their owners who preparing to move back in under the cease-fire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers.

The SLA has declared the area to the south of Kachchai road in Kovilkudiyiruppu, Chavakachcheri as a 'high security zone' the Virakesari reported two weeks ago. Barbed wire fences have been erected in the area, stretching from Chavakachcheri yarn factory to Allaarai thumpu thottam.

Also two weeks ago the SLA has begun constructing a new artillery base on a 60-acre site in Idaikurichchi, Varani, a few miles north of Chvacachcheri, the Thinakural newspaper reported. Currently the SLA's 52 Division has another artillery base close to the Varani Maha Vidyalayam (school) which may move into the new base also. This artillery base has been in place for six years.

Meanwhile, civilians have started moving back into their homes in Manthuvil after the SLA vacated its camp in Manthuvil Government School and its environs. Some of them are living in temporary huts since rooftiles of their houses had been removed or damaged.

A large base stretching over Manthuvil and 5 other village councils was set up in early 2000 by SLA troop after intense fighting in the region.


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