Sri Lanka Brief
NewsSL Army restricts NGO movement in Batticaloa district

SL Army restricts NGO movement in Batticaloa district

The occupying Sri Lanka Army has imposed restrictions on the movement of Non Governmental Organizations to Paduvaankarai from Batticaloa via Kiraan Bridge, civil sources in Batticaloa city told TamilNet Wednesday. The SLA soldiers at Kiraan Bridge are reported to have refused permission to several NGOs in recent days to travel beyond the bridge without SL Defense ministry authority.
The NGO officials have been asked to obtain ‘pass’ from Welikanda SLA camp. The travel-ban on NGOs comes as SL military backed encroachment of Sinhalese is reported in the border areas of the Piratheasa Chapai (PS) divisions of Koa’ra’laip-pattu South, Vavu’na-theevu, Ea’raavoor-pattu and Chengkaladi.

Paduvaankarai region, which was under LTTE control during the times of war was accessible to NGOs without any ‘pass’ restrictions.

At that time, the NGOs could proceed after logging their entry at the military check posts located at Black Bridge, Kiraan Bridge, Kaavaththa-munai Road, Valaiyi’ravup-paalam, Ma’nmunai Road, Ampilaanthu’rai Road and Ka’luvaagnchik-kudi Bridge.

After the conclusion of war in the East, the ICRC was subjected to access-restrictions by the SLA at the Black Bridge.

Now, the newly-imposed travel ban on NGOs intends to block or limit access to independent third-party witnesses to the villages of Pe’nduka’l-cheanai, Koozhaavadi, Tharavai, Miyang-ku’lam, Koara-ve’li, Kaanaan-thanai, Mu’ruththaanai, Pearalaave’li, 5th Mile Post, Vaakaneari and Kalladi-veddai villages in Koa’ra’laip-pattu South division, where Sinhalcisation by the Colombo establishment has been stepped up grabbing the lands of Tamils.

Sexual abuses and other crimes by the occupying SL military and the SL police are also in the increase in Paduvaankarai region.

On 28 March, a Sinhala policeman who entered the house of a Tamil woman, who was living alone with her children at her house in Koozhaavadi, and attempted to molest her. However, the villagers rounded up the house and saved the woman from the SL policeman.

The next day, when the woman went to the police station at Puli-paayntha-kal with her relatives to lodge a complain about episode, the policemen at service told her that they would only investigate it if she identified the policeman in person.

In the meantime, grazing lands belonging to Tamils 20 km west of Kudumpi-malai, has been encroached by around 50 Sinahala families a few weeks ago.

Despite repeated resolutions and assurances made in the District Development Council meetings and the Provincial Council administration in addition to the promises given by the paramilitary ministers that Sinhalicisation would be stopped, there is no action to check the ongoing colonisation of Tamil land, civil sources in the district complained.

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