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Omanthai army camp, checkpoint removed

Vavuniya Government Agent M.B.R. Pushpakumara said today the Omanthai Army Camp and Checkpoint on the A-9 Road had been dismatled after 25 years and the land occupied by the Army was officially handed over him to be given to its original owners.

He told a news conference in Vavuniya that the camp was set up in 1992 for security reasons and the checkpoint began operations on March 22, 2002 and became well known as one of the important nerve centres with vehicles and people passing through having to undergo a stringent check at this point.

Mr. Pushpakumara said 16 of the 19 acres occupied by the army were handed over to him and that the army had informed him that the remaining three acres would also be handed over to him after the army removed their belongings.

He said steps would be taken to hand over the land to its original owners shortly.

When contacted, Military Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said the Omanthai checkpoint on the A9 Road in Vavuniya would not be completely removed and that the Army would hand over the lands lying on the west.

“The army personnel there will be deployed at the army camp on the other side of the road,” he said. “It is not a sudden decision to vacate the land. The process of vacating the land had already begun,” Brigadier Seneviratne said.

Earlier it was reported that TNA parliamentarian Sivasakthy Ananthan had said the Army had agreed to release the private land at Rampaikulam at Omanthai where the Omanthai checkpoint was located.

He said the Vavuniya District Agent had agreed to allocate a six-acre block of land to re-locate the camp. (Darshana Sanjeewa and Romesh Madushanka)
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