SL Navy schemes to grab more lands in island off Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 June 2018, 21:21 GMT]
The Chief Minister of Northern Province Justice C.V. Wigneswaran on Monday criticised in strongest terms the latest move by the SL Navy to grab more lands in Ma'ndai-theevu islet, which is located at an entrance from the Palk Bay into the Jaffna lagoon. The Chief Minister said the SL military was releasing pockets of lands with one hand in Valikaamam North to take with the other in other places. Justice Wigneswaran was addressing the District Coordination Committee meeting on Monday.

Ma'ndaitheevu
Ma'ndaitheevu islet is on the left of the entrance from Palk Bay into Jaffna Lagoon seen in the image. On the right is the sandbar stretching from Poonakari of the main island of Sri Lanka. The Jaffna city is on the north, linked by a causeway. [Image courtesy: Google Earth]


The Divisional Secretary of Veala'nai has put up notices about the planned seizure of lands for ‘public purpose’. 15 acres of private lands are going to be taken over by the SL Navy, according to the news sources in the city. But, more public lands are being silently transferred to the SL Navy by the officials who take orders from the unitary State in Colombo.

The officials are instructed by Colombo to ignore the role of the Provincial Council, a divisional secretariat official from Vela'nai told TamilNet on condition of anonymity. While regretting the criticism coming from the Chief Minister, the official also said the SL military had dumped around 100 Tamil youth it had massacred in execution style in mid-1990 when it launched a rescue operation through Ma'ndaitheevu to free the Sinhala soldiers in the Dutch Fort of Jaffna which was besieged by the Tigers at that time.

Ma'ndai-theevu
SL Navy training off Ma'ndai-theevu


Ma'ndai-theevu
A large SL Navy installation is located in the islet.

The slain Tamil youth are believed to be dumped in the abandoned wells located near the naval base, the official who did not wish to be named, told TamilNet.

There are only a few wells with potable water, and the SL Navy is using all such wells. The private landowners are therefore reluctant to resettle in the militarised islet, the official further said.

The Ma'ndai-theevu entrance directly facing the Jaffna city lies between a sandbar stretching from Poonakari in the main island and the islands off Jaffna, thus controlling the sea movements towards the city as well as towards the main island.

Ma'ndai-theevu
The properties of uprooted Tamils from Ma'ndaitheevu


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