2ND LEAD (Correction, update)

SLA officer attempts to seize coastal lands as intruding fisher in Vaakarai

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 June 2019, 19:23 GMT]
A Sinhala Army officer stationed in Vaakarai is claiming lands to set up fishing ‘Paadu’ (an area of coastal sea-bed falling within the scope of a draw-net at 10 feet long) at the Tamil village of Maavadai-oadai in Vaakarai (Koara'laip-pattu North division) in the northern part of the Batticaloa district. The intruding Sinhala Army officer, attached to 233 Brigade of the SLA, is known as Major Kumara. He was clearing the land, which initially belonged to a Tamil land-owner, N. Packiyarasa. The area falls within the so-called safety buffer zone of 200 meters from the coast as the SL State enforced a ban after the 2004 tsunami. Tension prevailed in the village when the Sinhala officer, in military uniform, started to clear the 2.5 acres of lands using a bulldozer. The occupying Sinhala Army was backing him.

Thirty-four families were living in the coastal village until the December 2004 Tsunami. The surviving families were provided housing at Kokkuvil (2nd Mile Post) without the necessary infrastructure.

Koara'laip-pattu Divisional Secretariat has previously obtained the signature of the land-owners stating that they were offered alternative lands. The SLA officer clearing the land was using these Divisional Secretariat documents to counter the protest of the land-owner, Mr Packiyarasa told TamilNet.

As the people started to protest, Divisional Secretary and GS Officer interfered and have told the intruder to stay away from the land.

Vaakarai region was under the de-facto Tamil Eelam administration of the LTTE before 2007. It encompasses a vast expanse of land north of Navaladi junction extending 50 km to the Verukal river.

Several small villages, Kaayaang-kea'ni, Maang-kea'ni, Panichchang-kea'ni, Vaakarai, Ka'ndal-adi, Paal-cheanai and Kathiraveli, which lie along A-15, from south to north, dot the hinterlands of Vaakarai region.


Chronology:
15.01.07  Unfolding misery
11.01.07  Vaharai tragedy
07.01.07  SOS from Vaharai

 

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