Resettlement Conference held in Paduvaankarai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 May 2007, 22:02 GMT]
A conference chaired by S.Arumainayagam, Batticaloa Government Agent (GA) was held Saturday at Paddippa'lai Divisional Secretariat to discuss the details relating to the second stage resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Paduvaankarai, Paddipa'lai areas in Batticaloa district, sources in Batticaloa said. A number of officials from Batticaloa Divisional Secretariat, Paddippa'lai Divisional Secretary (DS) and Special Task Force (STF) officials attended the conference.

Conference attendees discussed matters related to arranging transport facilities for the IDPs residing in Batticaloa in temporary tents, providing them drinking water, mobilising the government offices in these areas, and transporting officials to these areas, sources said.

The proposed second stage resettlement is to be completed between June 1st and June 6th and people from four of the total 24 Grama Sevaka (GS) divisions are to be resettled daily.

The IDPs already resettled during the first stage of resettlement process are being provided with cooked food and have also been issued one week supply of dry rations. They also have been provided with some basic utensils, sources said.

Further, the Grama Sevakas in these areas have been directed to visit these areas on May 25th and submit a report before May 27th regarding the damaged houses in order to begin construction repairs to house of people already resettled and also for those who are to be resettled in Paddipa'lai, according to officials.

Meanwhile, the farmers displaced from Paduvaankarai area have pointed out that since the farming season is already over, they are unable to commence cultivation.

All IDPs presently residing in temporary camps in Batticaloa have been photographed by STF, and have been issued special Family Identity Cards, with the warning that any outsiders seen in the area would be arrested.

This new directive has instilled fear among the public since they feel any relatives from Batticola visiting Paduvaankarai could be arrested.

Meanwhile, another meeting was held between Batticaloa GA and the consortium of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in Batticaloa district. The issue of immediately lifting the restrictions imposed upon the NGOs citing security reasons to visit Paduvaankarai area was raised at this conference. The NGOs also requested that they should be permitted to provide necessary assistance to those who are to be resettled.

The officials of the consortium of 161 NGOs operating in Batticaloa district have pointed that only a few NGOs are currently allowed permission at the Forward Defense Lines (FDL) of Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The GA while promising to take corrective measures also said that disciplinary action would be taken against some these organizations, a consortium official said.


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