Tsunami victims flee as SLA moves into Trinco welfare centres
[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 January 2005, 16:19 GMT]
Hundreds of Tsunami victims fled from welfare centres in the Sri Lanka government
controlled areas in the Trincomalee district when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers carrying
weapons entered the welfare centres to take over the management Thursday on a
directive by Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, several volunteers said.
Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Thursday
evening lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in
the east port town that the army taking over welfare centres sheltering
Tsunami victims is a violation of the ceasefire agreement which is in force
since February 2002. He also brought to the notice of the SLMM that the SLA
soldiers are not adhering to the decision arrived at a discussion held in
the SLMM office Thursday morning, sources said.
Mr.Elilan requested the SLMM to resolve the matter expeditiously, sources said.
A discussion was held at the office of the SLMM, Trincomalee office
Thursday morning between Mr.Elilan, Major General Sumith Balasuriya, 211
Brigade Commander in Trincomalee and police officials to find an amicable
solution to the problem of managing Tsunami welfare centres, sources said.
At the conference it was decided to allow the management of such camps in
the hands of a committee comprising civil officials, namely Grama Sevaka
Officer (village level officer) of the division, Samurdhi officer, a
representative of the army and representatives of victims.
representative of the TRO would manage the camp, sources said.
But non-governmental organization sources complained Thursday evening that
in contrary to the decision arrived at this discussion, soldiers with
weapons had entered some welfare centres in villages,
Kumburupiddy, Salli and Jamaliya to take control. Tsunami victims were
taken aback when they saw groups of SLA soldiers with weapons entering their
shelters and in panic several victims started leaving the centres. Most of those who fled are Tamil speaking, NGO sources said.
Majority of the refugees sheltered in the welfare centre which is located
in Orr's Hill Vivekananda College left Thursday leaving only about thirty
out of about 1500 following the take over of the management by army
Tension prevailed in Jamaliya welfare centre where majority
victims are Muslims when army soldiers moved in Thursday, NGO sources said.