STF refuses to vacate homes
[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 October 2002, 18:06 GMT]
Five Tamil refugee families of Kittanki at Kalmunai in the southeastern Amparai district have appealed to the authorities to return their houses now being occupied by the Commandos of the Special Task Force. The STF earlier promised to leave these houses on 16 October. The STA now has gone back on its promise, said refugees in a complaint to the district parliamentarian.
The STF camp at Kittanki has been functioning since 1996 in the houses of five Tamil civilian families and a building of the irrigation department. Since then the said Tamil families stay with their friends and relatives without proper dwelling facilities, sources said.
S.Gnanasoundari, P.Saroja, P.Kalawathie, K.Thangamalar and K.Valliammai, heads of the five families said Sunday in a letter to the Amparai district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr. A.Chandra Nehru that the STF personnel who earlier promised to leave their houses on October 16 have now changed their minds.
The letter states: -
“We were asked by the STF personnel to come to their camp on 14.10.2002. There we were told that our houses they occupy would be returned to us on October 16 as they have decided to close down their camp at Kittanki. Thereafter the STF personnel started removing their goods daily. They once again told us on October 16th morning that we could take possession of our houses. Suddenly on the same day evening STF personnel brought back their goods already removed and started to reoccupy our houses. On questioning we were told that orders have come from Colombo not to evacuate the camp encompassed our houses.
”As promised earlier the STF personnel have vacated their camps at Anamalai and 15th Colony. We do not know the reason why they still maintain a camp at Kittanki occupying our five houses? Hence we humbly request you to help us to get back our houses as we undergo untold hardship without proper dwelling facilities for the last several years,” said in the letter handed over to parliamentarian Mr. Chandra Nehru.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chandra Nehru speaking at the opening event of the Navithanveli co-operative society Sunday said the STF has changed its mind and reoccupying Tamil refugees’ houses at Kittanki in the pretext of providing security to Muslims. This cannot be accepted.
Mr.Bawa, LTTE political head of the Amparai district, Administrative head of the LTTE Mr.Nivaraj and Navithanveli Divisional Secretary Mr.S.Gopalaratnam also attended the opening event. About thirty thousand people of the Navithanveli division will be benefited with the opening of the said co-operative society. Since 1977 till yesterday this co-operative society functioned in the Sammanthurai division causing lot of hardships to the people of Navithanveli, sources said.