SLA removes mine markers in Katkovalam
[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 November 2003, 07:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka army soldiers Friday night removed markers put up on abandoned military bunkers in Katkovalam, a coastal village near Pt. Pedro town in Jaffna, by a Danish de-mining group, residents told TamilNet. “Mines and booby traps left behind by the SLA in bunkers in the midst of our village have claimed the limbs of six people since last year”, an official of the local fisheries society said.
An official of the Danish de-mining group who visited the village was turned back by troops Saturday morning.
As Katkovalam residents, angered by the army’s action to stop de-mining in the village, prepared to protest the area was rounded up by the military Saturday.
Soldiers then distributed rice to the villagers and urged them not to speak about the removal of the de-mining markers. “The SLA personnel told us that they had nothing to do with the removal of the mine markers”, a resident told TamilNet.
Sources said that the SLA moved to hush up the matter following talks Saturday with the Danish de-mining group that had obtained due permission for working in Katkovalam.
The SLA has mined bunkers and defence positions in the midst of many villages along Jaffna’s north eastern and south eastern coasts.