Mannar conditions said causing refugee trickle

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 June 2000, 12:39 GMT]
Fifteen youth were arrested and detained by the Sri Lanka army when it cordoned off and searched the coastal village of Pesalai, 17 kilometers west of Mannar, Saturday morning. Sources said that the refugee camp in Pesalai was also searched. The SLA confiscated large quantities of kerosene stored by local fishermen as fuel for the light horsepower out board motors of their fishing boats.

Fishing in this coast was disrupted as a consequence of the confiscation of the kerosene stocks by the SLA residents said. An SLA officer in Mannar, however, claimed that the kerosene stocks were seized on suspicion that they might be intended for the Liberation Tigers.

But a senior member of the Pesalai area fishermen's society dismissed the SLA's claim. He said that the stocks were cleared by the SLA and the Police.

He pointed out that such difficulties are forcing some persons, particularly those in the local refugee camp, to contemplate the possibility of seeking refuge in Tamil Nadu.

Many persons who fled these parts of the Mannar to the southern coast of Tamil Nadu since early May were stranded on the shifting sand banks of the Adam's Bridge between Talaimannar and Thanushkodi before they were located and rescued by Indian boats sources said.

 

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