SLA commander refuses refugees to resettle in Mylanthanai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 March 2003, 02:12 GMT]
Commander of the 23rd division of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Minneri, Batticaloa, A.R. Balasuriya, refused permission to allow resettlement in the border village of Mylanthanai, sources in Batticaloa said. Former residents who went to their village to resettle had to turn back to their refugee camp in Valaichenai, according to sources.

International voluntary organization, ZOA Refugee Care Netherlands, has been making preparations to resettle displaced residents from Mylanthanai who have been languishing in Valaichenai refugee camp from 1990 when they fled their village due to war. ZOA foundation volunteers and displaced residents have been for the past week visiting villages of Mylanthanai and Sallappachenai to cleanup disused wells and clearing up village roads.

The volunteer organization had taken measures to donate materials to build temporary housing and other instruments with a view of helping the families resettle.

However, when informed of the resettlement program, Commander Balasuriya had told Shoah officials that the plans of independent voluntary organizations and of the security forces are in conflict and that he cannot allow permission for resettlement.

Commander added that villages of Vadmunai and Uthuchenai, lying North west of Mylanthanai, are under the control fo Liberation Tigers (LTTE) and therefore resettlement there is possible. But since Mylanthanai is partly held by LTTE and partly by security forces, he cannot allow refugees to resettle.

UNHCR officials said that they cannot accept Commander Balasuriya’s determination and that they will continue dialogue with the security forces commander with a view of soon resettling the displaced villagers in their former lands, sources in Batticaloa said.


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