War shattered town seeks freedom to bury

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 August 2003, 16:39 GMT]
Three years ago the people of Chavakachcheri saw their town being bombed and shelled into gnarled ruins and dusty rubble heaps. The guns have fallen silent and the fortunate few are keenly rebuilding. But the resettling residents of Chavakachcheri are also eager to enjoy their freedoms long circumscribed by the war – including the right to bury their dead in the town’s cemetery.

Kannadipiddy cemetery and temple inside the garrison. New SLA bunker in foreground

Kannaadipiddy is Chavakachcheri’s main cemetery, where Hindus and Christians of the town buried and cremated their dead. It is now inside the large southern sector of the town garrisoned by the Sri Lanka army. Residents have to obtain permission from the Sri Lanka army (SLA) to use the cemetery. Only very close relatives required to perform the last rites are permitted inside.

Earlier this year a family burnt a corpse by the SLA checkpoint at an entrance to this high security zone, which leads up to the cemetery when soldiers refused to let the cortege through.

About three thousand families that have resettled in the central and western suburbs of Chavakachcheri town rely on the Kannapiddy cemetery to bury their dead.

“There are about four to five funerals a week," an official of the Chavakachcheri Urban Council (UC) told TamilNet.

The town’s dilapidated UC building stands derelict by the high security zone. The UC administration functions now from a house on the other side of the town.

The largest sports pavilion in the Thenmaradchi Division of Jaffna is also inside this garrisoned sector of the Chavakachcheri town. The UC sought permission from the SLA recently to use the damaged but still usable pavilion and its grounds recently to hold functions in connection with the local government week.

SLA refused to consent.


One of the town’s main places of worship, the Veeramaahaliamman Temple is also inside the garrison. The temple is rapidly falling into a state of serious disrepair.

“People who pass along the A9 through Chavakachcheri town would be inclined to presume that the scars of war are healing fast. The truth lies behind the road side parts of the town centre," the UC official said.

Meanwhile, the SLA has constructed a new bunker to further secure the approach to the temple, pavilion and the cemetery.

a section of the dilapidated pavilion beyond a newly constructed SLA bunker


Latest 15 Reports
16.08.19 13:25   Photo
SL Archaeology Department resumes plans to construct controversial ‘chaitya’ at Koonith-theevu
15.08.19 21:39  
Wickramasinghe lacks courage to meet protesting Tamil mothers in North
14.08.19 23:31   Photo
2006 genocidal massacre at Chengchoalai campus marked in Vanni, Jaffna amidst PTA-threats
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
10.08.19 22:49   Photo
Sinhala encroachers storm into 100 acres of lands at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai
09.08.19 14:28  
SL Forest Department retains 8,034 hectares of pasturelands in Paduvaan-karai, Batticaloa
08.08.19 20:05   Photo
Colombo converts 2000 acres of ex-HSZ lands citing India-assisted airport expansion in Jaffna
07.08.19 23:28   Photo
Book on Santhiya becomes narration of Tamil struggle incorporating Marxist ideas in early 80s
06.08.19 23:27   Photo
State discrimination causes death of 1000 cows, milk production drops by 5,500 litres in Batticaloa
05.08.19 23:55   Photo
Pirapaharan’s statements between 1984 and 1993 reproduced in book form in Europe
04.08.19 23:47   Photo
Threatened female activist suffers injuries in suspicious ‘accident’ in Batticaloa
03.08.19 23:55  
SL Army puts up military post, Buddhist chanting dominates Kanniyaa
02.08.19 21:18  
Tamils must fight back against illegal seizure of lands by SL Forest Department: Kurunathan
Find this article at: