SLN expands Thiriyai naval base
[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 December 2002, 20:14 GMT]
Thiriyai Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) main base, relocated to a new location
one mile from the Thiriyai Tamil Vidyalayam in May this year,
is now being strengthened as a permanent base, a group
of civilians told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader and the district
parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan when he paid a visit Saturday evening
to see if any progress has been made by recently resettled farmers, sources
Displaced come from refugee centers, attend cultivation work at Thiriyai and return the same day evening.|
Mr.Sampanthan on his
visit saw new land area close to the seacoast fenced with barbed wire
as preliminary step towards expanding the perimeter of the SLN main base, sources
The resettlers now engaged in paddy cultivation said they are
subjected to severe checks by SLN personnel daily when they pass
through the sentry point of the SLN at Thiriyai.
The new land earmarked for the expansion of the SLN main base at
Thiriyai had already been surveyed.
The SLN occupied Thiriyai Tamil Vidiyalayam buildings as their camp
till May this year. Following representation made to the authorities
concerned for the removal of the main camp, the SLN relocated it
about a km away from the school.
TNA parliamentarian R.Sampanthan, LTTE Kumburupiddy political head Mr.Sivakumar with irrigation engineers and cultivators inspecting the dried Neelapanikankulam (reservoir).
Thiriyai villagers told Mr.Sampanthan that the
SLN draw sand from residential lands abandoned in Thiriyai
village to strengthen their main naval base. Mr.Sampanthan and his
team saw the residential lands said to have been damaged by the SLN.
Leaving their wives and children at refugee camps and welfare centres
several miles away at Nilaveli and Kumburupiddy villages only the
male heads of the displaced cultivate their lands in Thiriyai
village, forty two km north of Trincomalee town. They go to Thiriyai
by morning bus and return by evening to refugee camps and welfare
centers to join their families. Some stay in temporary huts put up in
the fields to save their crop from wild animals, sources said.
About four hundred heads of displaced families have come to Thiriyai
village and have started cultivating paddy in 1500 acres, agricultural
department sources said.
Mr.Sampanthan accompanied by the national list parliamentarian
Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham and the political head of the LTTE
Kumburupiddy division Mr. Sivakumar visited the major tank
Neelapanikankulam which is in the Thiriyai village. The
Neelapanikankulam has no water at present as the bund of the tank had
breached several years ago following the mass displacement of the
Tamil families when violence broke out in the year 1990, sources
said. Under the Neelapanikankulam scheme more than six hundred acres
could be cultivated with paddy both seasons.
However elsewhere in the village rain fed cultivation is being carried out
in more than seven hundred acres.
Several heads of displaced families said they would bring their
families and reside in the village after the harvest of the paddy.
However the authorities should take immediate steps from today
onwards to provide infrastructure facilities such as hospital,
school, post office and other public utility services to the village
before they bring in their families to the village, they stressed.
Paddy fields in Thiriyai.