Re-Settled People In Santhapuram Sent Back To Camps
- TNA says army prevents IDPs returning home
- Defence spokesperson says national security paramount
By Maryam Azwer
IDPs from the Santhapuram area in the Kilinochchi District who were asked to return home say they were not allowed to resettle in their previous homes, according to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, Suresh Premachandran.
Premachandran claims they were sent back to their transit camps by the army instead.
IDPs in Santhapuram told the TNA that they were ordered to return to their home by “the army commander in Mankulam.” Accordingly, they returned and set up temporary shelters.
However, three days later, on July 29, army personnel allegedly forced them out and took their belongings away in a tractor.
“The army went from house to house collecting belongings of the IDPs in a tractor and took it back to the camp. The tractor had been hidden in some bushes, but we managed to take some photographs,” says Premachandran, who was on a visit to the area with other TNA Parliamentarians that day. When
The Sunday Leader contacted Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella regarding this, he stated that the authenticity of these allegations will have to be verified.
Last week, the TNA during a press conference, claimed that the government was militarizing areas in the North and preventing resettlement of IDPs in their original homes.
Responding to this claim, Rambukwella stated, “That is not true. We have taken the responsibility of resettling IDPs… (but) we will not compromise security measures.”