The occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Vadamaraadchi in Jaffna has warned the original house-owners of a recently released former SLA camp-site at Pallappai at the heart of Vadamaraadchi, not to dig the wells at the site where 52 houses had been seized by the SL military for more than 14 years since 1999. The main camp of the SLA 524 was situated at Pallappai. A few days ago, SL military personnel who blocked the owners of a house from renovating their well, recovered human skeletons of 16 to 18 victims and instructed the owners not to reveal the details to media or human rights groups. More than 100 victims have been buried inside another public well that has been filled up by the SL military, the villagers say.
In the meantime, an SLA commanding officer has also confirmed to a media source in Colombo on condition of anonymity that a Tamil journalist, Subramaniyam Ramachandran, reported missing in 2007, was slain and dumped inside an abandoned well in the vicinity of the Pallappai 524 base. 87 and 90 years old parents of the missing journalist have been struggling for years to learn the whereabouts of their only son.
Around 2,000 youth were reported missing in Jaffna alone between 1996 and 2009.
When the SLA seized Jaffna in 1996, it had put up several camps in Vadamaraadchi. The main base controlling Vadamaraadchi was the 524 camp, which was situated inside the Point Pedro harbour.
However, when the Sea Tigers of the LTTE became a formidable force in 1999, the SLA moved its base 2 km away from the harbour to Pallappai, which is situated between the Jaffna-Point Pedro Road and Katkoava’lam-Naakarkoayil Road.
As the SL military recently relocated their base away from the area, some of the owners of the houses started to visit their properties in order to resettle there.
Many wells in the area are found filled with bulldozed stones, the villagers say.