Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader and Trincomalee district Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan paid his first visit to Sampur, after it was captured from the LTTE in April 2006.
With the permission of the Defence Ministry, he went to Sampur, where he was received by Brig. Hettiarachchi of Trincomalee 22 Division Brigade, and was taken on a guided tour to several parts in Sampur including areas now being acquired for the proposed construction of a coal power plant with Indian aid.
Mr. Sampanthan’s entourage including former TNA district Parliamentarian K. Thurairatnasingham, and councillors of the Mutur Pradeshiya Sabha, were first taken to Foul Point lighthouse via Soodaikudah.
Brig. Hettiarachchi then took Mr. Sampanthan and his team to Seethanaveli, a hamlet in the area, and showed him the progress on the construction work on a housing project by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), for displaced Sampur villagers. The entire housing project is handled by the SLA, from preparing the ground to making bricks, including the labour. The project started in November this year and is expected to be completed by March next year.
Fifty six houses are under construction. Each house is on a 20-perch plot, with three rooms, according to Brig. Hettiarachchi.
Mr. Sampanthan told Brig. Hettiarachchi that he had come to see Sampur, because Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had assured him in Parliament last month that Sampur IDPs could be resettled in their own lands once the lands needed for the construction of the proposed coal power plant are identified. Mr. Sampanthan added that, in the coming days, Minister Basil Rajapaksa and the Indian High Commissioner are expected to visit Sampur to identify lands needed for the coal power plant.
Later, Brig. Hettiarachchi entertained Mr. Sampanthan and his group to tea at Brigade headquarters in Sampur.
Mr. Sampanthan’s team, accompanied by Army officials, also visited the historic Pathirakali (Paththini) Kovil in Sampur and worshipped there.
Thereafter, they visited welfare centres located at Manatchenai, Pattithidal, Kiliveddy and Kadatkaraichchenai, where hundreds of Sampur’s IDP families are awaiting resettlement. He assured the IDPs that a positive situation has arisen with the assurance of Minister Basil Rajapaksa to him in Parliament, that all IDPs could be resettled in their own lands once the land needed for the construction of the coal power plant is identified. He appealed to the IDPs to be patient till it materialises.