Returnees find Thanankilapu farmland in ruins

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 July 2003, 02:00 GMT]
Residents of Thanankilapu and Maravanpulo in Thenmaradchy district, Jaffna, who returned to inspect their properties and agricultural lands expressed shock at the devastation left behind by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), local reports said.

Thousands of acres of fertile fields are replete with several feet deep bunkers running miles in length, visiting villagers said. Ridges at the perimeter of fields constructed to hold water have been largely destroyed and gravel heaps dotted the landscape, residents complained.

Jaffna Ariyalai


Bunds built with the assistance of UNHCR and CARE at a cost of more than Rs 1.5 million in 1998/1999 to prevent incursion of salt water inland have been bulldozed endangering fields turning saline, residents added.

Large areas of Coconut and Palmyrah estates have been destroyed to harvest timber for building SLA fortifications. Houses have been erased to the ground with no visible signs that they ever existed.

Large scale concertina fences were seen in several areas with herds of cows wandering in fields overgrown with shrubs, returning residents said.

Several buildings of hindu temples in Thanankilapu and Maravanpula have sustained severe damages from artillery, residents added.

SLA has not given permission to returning residents to resettle in these areas according to security sources.


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