SLA agrees to compensate Ketpali victims
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 May 2003, 00:05 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials of the 55-4 brigade Tuesday agreed to pay compensation to residents of Ketpali village for the damage caused to their possessions by inebriated soldiers who ran amok during Vesak day. This follows an inquiry held by the Jaffna regional co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka Tuesday on complaints made by residents of Ketpali, a remote village close to Kilali where 55-4 brigade of the SLA is located, sources said.
Majority of residents of Ketpali in Thenmaradchchi division are toddy tappers. On the day of incident, some army personnel had entered the village and damaged several toddy tapping implements and also attempted to misbehave with women in the area, according to complaints lodged at the HRC, sources said.
SLA officials who were present at the inquiry promised to take action against errand soldiers and gave assurances to prevent such incidents taking place in future.
One soldier has been arrested and is now facing inquiry in the military court accused of misbehavior, according to SLA, sources said.
Residents of Ketpali fled from their village in the Sri Lanka Army offensive in 2000. After the cease-fire agreement came into force most of the displaced families have returned to the village, civil sources said.