SL military stops resettlement by Douglas Devananda in Ariyaalai East

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 January 2011, 00:23 GMT]
The much publicised resettlement effort by SL minister Douglas Devananda in the Poompukaar locality of Ariyaalai East was stopped by SL military Thursday. Hundreds of families that accompanied Mr. Douglas Devananda with much anticipation to resettle in their houses and lands from where they were uprooted 15 years ago were disappointed. Meanwhile, on resettlement in the ‘High Security Zone’ (HSZ) of Valikaamam, the SL minister told people who were uprooted for the last 20 years to observe more patience. The Sri Lanka government agent in Jaffna, Mrs. Imelda Sugumar also recently said that it could take more than ten years for the removal of land mines and re-settlement of people in the HSZ.

Ariyaalai East is a sandbar stretch of the Jaffna Peninsula, strategically placed opposite to the Ma’n’nththalai sandbar stretching from Poonakari of the main island.

Due to the strategic importance the stretch was fortified with barbed wire, trenches, watchtowers etc., and was completely occupied by thousands of SL military personnel during the war with the LTTE. Tamil civilians were uprooted from the stretch 15 years ago and their fields, houses and temples were abandoned.

Presently only a few hundred SL military personnel stay in this stretch. But plans surfaced sometimes back to bring in settlers from the south to a locality called Ma’niyan-thoaddam of this stretch to have a Sinhala military cum civilian complex.

The sandbar lies adjacent to Jaffna city and at the same time is placed at the closest proximity to the main island.

 

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