SL military steps up demolition of houses in Valikaamam North, Jaffna

Despite the ‘assurance’ to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan by Sri Lankan president’s secretary Mr Lalith Weerthunga that the demolition of houses inside the former ‘High Security Zone’ would be postponed, the occupying Sri Lanka Army in Palaali continues to bulldoze the houses of Tamil civilians in Va’ruththalai-vi’laan and Kurumpachiddi now being transformed into a permanent Sinhala Military Zone in 6,000 acres land in Valikaamam North in Jaffna. The Civil Military Coordination Office of the SL military in Jaffna told the civilians of Valikaamam that the SL military was free to demolish the houses and clear the area as it has officially been taken over by the military Establishment. Journalists were not allowed to witness the destruction.

The reports of continued demolition of houses comes a day after local media reported that Jaffna SL military commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe to stop the construction activities inside the zone taken over by the SL military against the will of the people.

The destruction of houses was being hurriedly carried out on the instructions from SL presidential sibling and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning the occupied zone told the villagers who complained about the demolition to go and seek legal remedies, the residents said.

It seems like the SL military has been instructed to complete the demolition before any court order to halt the work is issued, the organizations representing the uprooted people of Valikaamam North said.

The SL military is also attempting to show that all the lands appropriated for the military settlement is a single unit of 6,000 acres, says deputy chairman Shanmuganathan Sajeevan said.

The owners of the lands will also have trouble in identifying their plots of lands when everything has been bulldozed, he further said.

The Sinhala soldiers deployed in the demolition project were seen transporting dismantled doors, windows and other properties to the main Palaali base, news sources in Thellippazhai told TamilNet Sunday.

On Wednesday, when US Ambassador in Colombo, Michele Sison, who visited Jaffna was questioned by the local journalists on the demolition of houses by the SL military, she wanted Mr Wigneswaran to respond to media.

The Chief Minister said he had explained certain issues to the US Ambassador. “But, this is a political matter which has to be taken up with Sri Lankan Government [implying it was an internal affair]. We can’t achieve anything by talking about this to foreign officials. But, I have explained that such things are taking place,” he said.

“She can’t express any opinion on this matter,” he said adding that he had contacted Mr Sampanthan the day before yesterday and asked to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan President.

Now, Colombo has demonstrated how it deals with the internal affairs by stepping up the demolition of houses after giving assurance to TNA leader Sampanthan, the representatives of the uprooted people of Valikaamam North told TamilNet on Sunday.

[Full Coverage]

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