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CHAPTER 7: VAVUNIYA DISTRICT

The town of Vavuniya is a bustling centre of business activity. Products from the farms and fields in the hinterland are brought to the market town. Agricultural fertiliser, fuel for farm tractors and vehicles are purchased here. Persons so engaged  bring sizeable amount of money with them. Their disappearances take on the character of robbery of money as well. Many instances have been reported of the disappearances of person

And their money.

 

In the Vavuniya District it is to be noted that the Security Forces and the terrorist forces vied for control. The jungle cover provided enough haven for the terrorists to base their camps and indulge in sporadic forays on the Army Camp and the civilian town ships. Towards Army Camps they adopted the twin strategies of surprise attacks and out numbering the personnel in the camps. This has resulted in quite a few personnel losing their lives or missing in action as in Kokavil, and later on a big scale at Pooneryn.

 

As a result of these disturbed conditions large number of people moved out of the country through points in the Mannar coast towards South India. The owners of the boat saw in this situation, a lucrative means of earning money. Individuals and families started leaving in large groups. Some of them did not succeed in their endeavour to reach a safe haven. They were stopped by the Sri Lanka Navy in mid sea and brought back to the country. The Naval authorities did not take kindly to the boat crews who operated this human traffic. A large number of them were detained on their return and were not heard of thereafter.

 

In the Vanni region itself, which comprised of Maduhu, Pavatkulam., Nanattan, Puliyankulam, Omantai and Viswamadu, there has been a proliferation of refugee camps and check points. The Security Forces have made arrests among the persons who sought refuge in these camps. At checkpoints, persons have been detained and lost without trace. People who have disappeared in this manner have been listed in the Annexure AA. The Thandikulam checkpoint, which was the northern most security point, has been the venue of several arrests of persons trying to go north or returning from the north. The persons so arrested and disappeared have been listed in Annexure BB.

          The close movements of terrorist groups and security forces have very often erupted into exchange of shooting between the fighting parties.             This had the unfortunate result of many deaths in the crossfire of civilians present at these places. More often than not these people have been             killed and their bodies found and disposed of.

Posted on 2002-08-30



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Cyberspace Graveyard for Disappeared Persons
Asian Human Rights Commission

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