TRO hands over ten houses to Thiriyai resettlers

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 October 2003, 18:06 GMT]
The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization in Trincomalee district Sunday handed over ten newly constructed houses to ten internally displaced families now resettled in war ravaged Thiriyai, a traditional Tamil village, about 42 km off north of Trincomalee town. TRO launched this housing project funded by the America's TRO last April, sources said.

Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader and Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan unveiled the name board of the project and LTTE Trincomalee district political head Mr.Thilak opened the first house. Later TRO Trincomalee district director Mr.K.Mathavarajah handed over keys to ten owners of the houses constructed in their own lands, sources said.

Thiriyai housing project
Trincomalee parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan univeils the name board, Parliamentarian Mr. K.Thurairetnasingam, LTTE Terincomalee district political head Mr.S.Thilak, TRO Trincomalee district director Mr.K.Mathavarajah are also seen in the photo.

About thousand families lived in this village before 1990. The entire village was displaced when the Sri Lanka Army launched fresh military offensive on the village for second time in 1990, sources said

Thiriyai housing project
TRO Trincomalee district director Mr.mathavarajah hands over keys of a newly constructed house to a woman.
Thiriyai villagers were first displaced in 1985 due to military operation. Later in 1987 with the arrival of Indian army some of the displaced returned to their houses in the village. However they fled from the village when the Sri Lankan government troops launched fresh military offensive in 1990 after the withdrawal of Indian army. At that time there were more than one thousand houses built with bricks, six rice mills, about seventy-four tractors, hospital, post office, schools and several government buildings in the village.

The Sri Lanka Army that entered the village thereafter destroyed all most all the houses and other public buildings and established military camps in the Thiriyai Tamil Maha Vidiyalaya buildings. Later the Sri Lanka Navy took control of the village in 2001, as SLA soldiers located in the village were withdrawn and deployed in the northern province to fight LTTE.

Thiriyai housing project
Mr.Thilak ceremonially opens the first house.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in February last year, a group of internally displaced Thiriyai families went to Thiriyai in April last year to see their houses and lands to make arrangement to resettle and they were led by Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan. However the navy soldiers located in Thiriyai School first refused entry to the IDPs to enter the village.

Later following representations to the government the SLA left the village and IDPs who went subsequently saw not a single house in the village. The government security forces destroyed all the houses and public buildings. The village had been found in ruined state, sources said.

Now little by little the village is being given new life by the TRO in Trincomalee. Under five hundred houses' project, TRO has constructed at the start ten houses, each costing 1.40,000 rupees, which has been funded by TRO in America, sources said.

More houses will be constructed for the resettled families in coming months, assured TRO Trincomalee district director Mr.K.Mathavarajah addressing a gathering at the conclusion of opening of new houses.

LTTE Trincomalee district political head Mr.Thilak said SIHRN accepted a five hundred houses' project for Thiriyai. But the project could not materialize, as the SIHRN became defunct body to carry forward the development projects it agreed. TRO had constructed ten houses under the project with the funding of TRO in America, sources said.

Parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham also spoke. TRO project director in Trincomalee Mr.V.Kalaivarnan presided.

Thiriyai housing project
Destroyed house and newly constructed house by the TRO.

Thiriyai housing project
Resettled families attending the meeting.


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