SLA bans NGOs from using Kinnaiyady lagoon access path

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 August 2003, 01:49 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has imposed ban on travel by officers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Batticaloa district through Kinnaiyady lagoon, security sources in the Eastern province said. Kinnaiyady is located 32 km off northwest of Batticaloa town.

LTTE held villages, Primpaditheivu, Saraveli, and Murukkanthivu are located in the west beyond Kinnaiyady lagoon.

Officials of the local NGO "Thadaham" were prevented from travelling to LTTE held areas through Kinnaiyady lagoon on Wednesday.

SLA soldiers manning the checkpoint at Kinnaiyady lagoon refused permission for them to travel through Kinnaiyady lagoon even after they identified them as NGO workers and argued that they were allowed free access through Kinniayady lagoon for the last three years, sources said.

SLA soldiers at Kinnaiyady lagoon sentry told Thadaham workers that they had been instructed by the Brigade 23-2 civil co-ordinating officer not to allow NGO workers through Kinnaiyady lagoon to LTTE held villages, sources said.

The matter was brought to the notice of the Valaichchenai Divisional Secretary by the NGO officials.

Similarly officials of another NGO, Seva Lanka, were also refused permission to use the lagoon to go to LTTE held villages, sources said.

The NGO Thadaham is engaged in several development projects in rural areas such as sinking wells, implementing nutrition programme to eliminate malnutrition among rural children, providing loan facilities to villagers to implement employment projects and other social welfare schemes, sources said.

 

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