The occupying Sri Lankan military in Vanni has stepped up harassment on resettled civilians in Poonakari and in the adjoining coastal areas, news sources in Poonakari told TamilNet Thursday. Recently, Sri Lanka Navy has taken over the occupation of the strategically located coastal stretch from the SL Army and has imposed strict ‘pass’ regulations on fishing in the seas, Tamil fishermen complain. Southern intruders with the backing of occupying military are also forcing people to sell their lands following recent reports that the Colombo establishment was planning to invite China to build an airport of international standard at Poonakari to balance India’s projects centring around KKS harbour and Palaali airport in the northern coast of Jaffna Peninsula.
Sri Lanka’s large military establishments that choke Jaffna peninsula and threaten Indian security. Sinhala colonisation is carried out in places no 11, 13, 14, and 16. The locations: 1. High Security Zone, Valikaamam North, 2. Kaarainakar naval base, 3. Vallan, Pungkudutheevu, 4. Periyathu’rai and Saamiththoadda-munai, Delft (Key location for Kachchatheevu and Rameswaram), 5. Kunthavadi, Delft, 6. Thalai-mannaar, 7. Mannaar Fort, 8. Tha’l’laadi, 9. Poonakari Fort, 10. Elephant Pass, 11. Vettilaikkea’ni, 12. Naakarkoayil, 13. Ariyaalai East and the opposite sandbar Ma’n’niththalai, 14. Naavatkuzhi, 15. Ma’ndaitheevu,16. Jaffna city, 17. Kachcha-theevu and 18. Naachchik-kudaa. The innumerable small military posts and the newly planned cantonments in Vanni are not shown in the map. [Satellite Image courtesy: NASA, Visible Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
Namal Rajapaksa, the son of SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the SL presidential siblings Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa have also occupied acres of land in the region, news sources said. Influential people and businessmen from the south have joined the race. Some of the intruders have already started planting coconut palm groves.
Poonakari is situated in a controlling location linking Vanni with Jaffna Peninsula, with Palk Bay and Jaffna Lagoon on either side. It is also located close to Raameasvaram and Tho’ndi of the Tamil Nadu coast.
Fishermen from Valaippaadu, Naachchikkudaa, Kiraangchi, Vearavil, Ponnaave’li, Pa’l’likkudaa and Poonakari, who can’t secure ‘pass’ from the military camps are barred from engaging in fishing. But, when people present themselves at the camps, they are being interrogated with questions on their past activities and with questions of their family members.
Former LTTE members who have been released after so-called rehabilitation by the occupying SL military are the ones subjected to severe harassment by the SL Navy.
The SL Navy and SL Army have also launched joint cordon and search operations along the coastal stretch. The SL military says they have been ‘infiltrations’ from India.
The occupying soldiers inspect identity cards and people moving around during the night time are detained and released only in the morning after interrogations. Persons who have no SL ‘National Identity Card’ are unable to travel, the sources further said.