Presidential order on colonists

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 August 1998, 23:59 GMT]
An order by K. Balapatabendi, Secretary to the President, issued yesterday to the District Secretary (DS) Trincomalee, is expected to see the Sinhala settlement at Kappalthurai, 8 km south of Trincomalee town, removed soon, said sources in Trincomalee.

Moves to remove the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sponsored settlement were initiated by R. Sampanthan MP, (Tamil United Liberation Front Trincomalee District). Mr Sampanthan wrote to the Sri Lanka President, Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 20, and held discussions with her on the same subject the following day.

Despite the President's order that the settlement be dismantled, military and civilian authorities in Trincomalee had not complied, said sources.

Consequently, Mr. Sampanthan had discussions with Mr. Balapatabendi on Monday and Tuesday. The Secretary to the President asked S.T. Chandradasa, DS, Trincomalee, to take immediate steps to remove the settlement.

The Sri Lanka Army cleared the area between Monkey Bridge and Paalampattar, stating security concerns. This was followed by the settlement of Sinhala families on either side of the road, 85 huts on one and 21 on the other.

Following Tuesday's order, the police and the Forest Department (which owns part of the land) are expected dismantle the huts soon and remove the settlers, said sources.

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