SLA holds Valaichchenai temples

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 June 2002, 11:39 GMT]
The Sri Lanka armed forces have not yet vacated several places of worship they are occupying in the Valaichchenai area, 32 kms north of Batticaloa district as stipulated in the ceasefire agreement signed between the government the Liberation Tigers, residents said.

The Kalkudah Kannagai Amman temple and Kalkudah Catholic church are within the perimeter of the Army base in Kalkudah town, they said.

Valaichchenai Vinayagar temple at petrol-shed junction is within the premises of the police station.

Kumburumoolai Muniyandy temple, Kinniayady Sithy Vinayagar Temple and Kalkudah junction Vinayagar temple are situated close to army camps.

Two Hindu temples situated near an Army camp at Meeravodai have been destroyed. Residents of the village have urged the Sri Lankan government to take steps to remove the Army camp from the area and to facilitate the repair of the damaged Hindu temples.

There has been a large military presence in Valaichenai for over a decade. The area is considered strategically important and there are about 10 SLA camps in and around the Valaichenai junction.

Recently, the Federation of Hindu Temples in Batticaloa and Amparai said Sunday that the Sri Lankan security forces in the region continue to encompass more than 15 places of worship in the two districts within the defence perimeters of their camps.

According to the ceasefire agreement which came into effect in February 23 (referred to as D-day in the document), “Places of worship (temples, churches, mosques and other holy sites, etc.) currently held by either of the parties shall be vacated by D-day + 30 and made accessible to the public."

 

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