SLA blocks resettlement in Meeravodai

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 September 2003, 13:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has refused permission to 352 displaced Tamil families to resettle in their former homes and land in Meeravodai in Valaichenai Pradeshya Sabai in Batticaloa district, said Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO).

Meeravodai is located 32km northwest of Batticaloa town. Tamil village of Kinnaiyadi lies to the south, tamil villages of Sunkankerni, Karuvakerni, and Kodaiyankerni lie to its east, a muslim section of Meeravodai lies to its north and to the west of Meeravodai lies the Batticaloa lagoon.

In 1990, when the war broke out Meeravodai became a target for the muslim homeguards and Sri Lanka security forces. Tamil homes were looted, damaged and many homes were set on fire. 488 tamil families of Meeravodai fled the village and sought shelter in refugee camps in Kannan Kiramam and Vinayagapuram.

Prompted by the prevailing atmosphere of peace, early last month, TRO with financial support from North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project started helping the displaced families to begin resettlement in Meeravodai.

Under NECORD support, TRO obtained financial assistance to implement resettlement in three phases:
  • Rs2.7m was allocated for the first phase for providing basic necessities to the displaced families
  • Rs.5.0m was allocated for community-based common facilities for the resettled families, and
  • As the third phase, financial assistance of Rs 100,000 was to be awarded to every family to construct houses. Rs75,000 of this was to be contributed by NECORD, Rs15,000 by the TRO and the rest Rs10,000 to be contributed by the family concerned as personal labor in constructing the house.


Kingsley Rasanayagam, Head of TRO Batticaloa district told TamilNet that the SLA commander of 23-2 brigade camped in Valaichenai Paper factory premises has instructed the TRO not to engage in any resettlement activity. TRO officials say that Deputy minister of Fisheries in the United National Front (UNF) government, Mohideen Abdul Cader, and other muslim organizations have pressured the SLA to block resettlement.

Displaced families say that several muslim families are occupying their land. These muslim families have to leave the occupied land if the displaced families are allowed to resettle. Muslim politicians are therefore making every effort to block tamil families coming back to live in Meeravodai, said a former President of the Village Development Council.

Displaced families say that the SLA camp located in Meeravodai serves no purpose other than assisting muslim families to forcefully occupy their lands and has requested the TRO to make every efforts to help them resettle.


Related Articles:
13.07.03   Resettlement to begin in Meeravodai
02.06.02   SLA holds Valaichchenai temples

 

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