The occupying Sinhala military of genocidal Sri Lanka has been silently consolidating its temporary positions and camps into permanent structures inside the limits of Mannaar Urban Council area within the last 30 days. There are more than 6,000 Sinhala military personnel within the UC area where 25,000 civilians reside. The SL Army, Navy and the STF troopers are stationed at more than 15 positions within the 27 square km. The systematic consolidation of the naval and army cantonments, camps, and positions has taken place despite clear demands from the civil sources to de-militarize the densely populated UC area. The strategic part of the district, commanding both the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannaar as well as commanding the closest communication line with the Tamil Nadu coast, has become a hive of intense Sinhala militarisation and demographic changes in recent times.
Most of the military positions being transformed into permanent structures are located in close proximity to the civilian settlements of Eezham Tamils, civil sources in Mannaar told TamilNet on Tuesday.
While there are more than 15 positions within the UC limits, there are between 60 to 70 military installations in the entire Mannaar district.
The area of Sinhala militarisation and colonisation in the Mannaar district, abetted by New Delhi and Washington, targeted against the interaction of Eezham Tamils with the coast of Tamil Nadu
The Sinhala military buildup is opposed to Eezham Tamils as well as checkmating future Indian influence in the region, political observers said.
A reent report by the ‘International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka’ (ITJP) led by South African rights activist Yasmin Sooka has published graphic details of the torture and rape of both men and women by the Sri Lankan military soldiers under the period in office of the so-called government claiming ‘Good Governance’. The level of abuse exposed in the ITJP report should be seen in context with Colombo's global backers upholding the genocidal State of Sri Lanka and the Sinhala military being groomed in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils as a ‘Lascarine’ force.
Red circled coastal stretches in the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannaar: 1. Northern coast of Jaffna peninsula, along with its harbour and airport, already appropriated by the occupying SL military. 2. The coast commanding the Gulf of Mannaar that is being surveyed now for appropriation. [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
The Mannaar UC area is divided into 7 wards and includes 15 GS divisions.
The occupying SL Navy maintains its ‘Mannaar district head quarters’ in Paddith-thoaddam GS division. It is a big establishment having more than 1,000 SLN sailors.
In addition, the SLN has stationed its troopers also at Pa'l'li-munai, where it occupies 25 houses belonging to Tamil fishermen and their fishmarket since 1990. A legal case is still going on at the District Court where the Tamil owners have lodged cases against the commanding officers of the SL Navy for the illegal seizure of their property.
Another SLN camp is situated along the coast in South Bar GS division inside the UC area. This naval installation also functions as a support base for Sinhala fishermen coming from South.
Tamil fishermen are subjected to continuous harassment by the presence of SL Navy near the main bridge in the city in Periya-kadai GS division. The building belonging to Mannaar Co-operative Council has also been occupied by the SLA.
There is also another SLN base at Koanthai-piddi in Uppuk-ku'lam which is a Muslim area situated in Moor Street GS division. The premises of Kaaddup-pa'l'livaasal (Mosque) is also under the SL Navy occupation.
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has occupied 25 acres of lands for a military cantonment at South Bar. Around 5,000 SL military personnel are attached to this cantonment. The temporary structures have been dismantled and permanent buildings have been put up in recent weeks.
In the meantime, the Sinhala police is occupying the Dutch Fort in Mannaar as residential quarters for police officers.
A camp of the notorious Special Task Force (STF) is situated inside the GS division of Chinnak-kadai on A-14 Mannaar - Thalaimannaar Road at the ’Youth Corps Centre’, which was established under Ranil Wickramasinge government during the Ceasefire Fire Agreement with the LTTE.