TNA opposes locating SLA camps in populated areas

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 April 2003, 17:02 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Thursday reiterated its stand to the Prime Minister that the Sri Lanka Army should not be allowed to establish or relocate its camps and main bases in densely populated places in the Northeast province, TNA parliamentary group leader, Mr.R.Sampanthan, said in a press release issued Thursday evening.

A TNA delegation led by Mr.R.Sampanthan Thursday met the Prime Minister at the latter's office and discussed in details the outcome of its visit to Jaffna Wednesday to find an alternative site where the SLA could relocate its Jaffna brigade headquarters.

The SLA had on Wednesday rejected the suggestion to relocate its brigade headquarters to other locations such as Kaakaithivu, Kalundaiveli or Cey-nor premises, and insisted that it should be allowed to use the Jaffna municipal lands according to its earlier decision, TNA sources said.

The TNA delegation pointed out to the Prime Minister that Tamils in the Northeast province have not forgotten the suffering they underwent for the last twenty years due to military operations of the SLA. Hence Tamils want less presence of the SLA soldiers in their areas, the press release said.

The TNA delegation requested the Prime Minister to continue the ban imposed on shifting the current Jaffna SLA brigade headquarters to municipal land. The Prime Minister agreed to look into the request favorably, the TNA press release said.

The municpal land that the SLA had planned to move into is surrounded by two leading schools, churches, temples, a court complex and several public buildings, and the SLA's plan drew widespread criticism from the people of Jaffna. For its current brigade headquarters, the SLA occupies about eight civilian homes and two leading hotels in Jaffna.

TNA delegation comprised parliamentarians Messrs Joseph Pararajasingham, Mavai Senathirajah, Selvam Adaikalanathan, N. Raviraj, G.G.Gajendrakumar, A.Chandra Nehru and K.Thurairetnasingham

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