Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Northern province situation report May 2005

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Observance of the Ceasefire
Disciplinary action has been taken against the Police Officers who raided the LTTE Political wing office in Koddokamam, in the Jaffna District last month. The Officers had not informed Senior Police officials nor had they notified the SLMM of the investigation. Reports continue to come in on the plight of refugees illegally returning from India to the Mannar district. Although, UNHCR has assisted many refugees to return safely since the signing of the MOU, many others continue to pay large amounts of money and travel dangerously in fishing boats in their desperation to return to Sri Lanka. On 13 May, a boat carrying 16 people capsized when returning from south India. The Sri Lankan Navy, which had been patrolling the area, managed to rescue some of the passengers who had swum to a sand dune. However, many others drowned in the incident. (Personal Observation -- CHA District Officer)

Degree of violence / rebellion.

Large crowds gathered carrying black flags and placards in protest of the visit by the Governor of Northeast Province, Mr. Tyrone Fernando who visited Jaffna on 5 May. Several members of the Media in gathered in protest of the murder of the Journalist Mr. T. Sivaram in Jaffna and in the Vavuniya district.

The Genuineness of Peace negotiation

Hans Brattsker the Norwegian Ambassador visited tsunami-affected areas, and also met with the LTTE Political wing leader during his visit to Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Killinochchi.

Implementation of Confidence building Measures

The Governments Security Forces allowed religious activities to be held in several temples within the High Security Zone in Maravanpulo, Jaffna.

Delivery & Distribution of peace Dividends

The UNHCR will be providing 38 semi-permanent houses to conflict-affected IDPs from camps in the Uduvil DS Division in Jaffna. In a recent press conference held on 28 April, the Government Agent for the Jaffna District stated that it was essential for a common mechanism between the GoSL and the LTTE to rehabilitate areas destroyed by the tsunami. He also stress on the importance of equal treatment and attention to both the conflict-affected as well as the tsunami-affected communities. Six major roads in Jaffna are to be rehabilitated with assistance from the Government of Japan.

25 villages in Jaffna District have been selected for a Social Empowerment Programme involving agricultural development, rehabilitation of roads and wells, revolving loan schemes etc with NEIAP. GTZ and OOTRU organisation have assisted fishermen in the Jaffna district by providing them with boats, out-board motors and fishing nets.

Adherence to or violation of human rights standards

Inquiries have taken place in to the disappearance of a 24-year-old resident of Urumpirai, allegedly arrested by Military Intelligence on 29 January this year. The representative of the military intelligence denied any charges at the inquiry that took place at the Human Rights Commission in Jaffna on 27 April. Protest marches were held and all regular activities came to a stand still in Jaffna on 10 May, when a protest was held against the incidents in Santhivelly, Batticaloa where clashes took place between angry crowds and the security personnel over a security check point. Women from Varani North, Jaffna, have submitted a memorandum stating that corruption has occurred in the handing over of houses constructed by the UNDP. Copies of the memorandum have been handed over to the Government Agent, DS Chavakachcheri, UNDP representative in Jaffna and the district LTTE Political Wing Leader.