The Navy which was occupying the Alms giving Madam in close proximity to the Ponnalai Varatharaja Perumal Temple had left the area completely at around 6.30 p.m. yesterday.
The Navy which had occupied the Madam for the last 24 years had vacated the said Madam on continuing requests from owners of the structure.
When the control of the Jaffna Peninsula wrested from the LTTE by the Army in 1996, Ponnalai also brought under control of the Army. Later the full control of Ponnalai was handed over to the Navy.
From that day the area from Ponnalai to Keerimalai was made a no man’s Zone and the dominance of Navy was maintained there.Although the people demanded that they be allowed to resettle into their lands in Ponnalai, Government did not permit it. Ponnalai had been converted into a massive Navy Camp. Buildings in the environment of Ponnalai Varatharajaperumal Temple, 4 Almsgiving Mandapams and some private houses were occupied by the Navy with Female Navy ratings also were stationed there.
Although war ended in 2009 , people were allowed to resettle in Ponnalai only in 2012 December. Although the navy left other buildings at that time they continued occupy two Alms giving madams.After some years the 3rd Mandapam was released. They have vacated the 4th Mandapam yesterday.
It is notable that, the Navy is in occupation only at the Ponnalai Water Supply premises and Ponnalai Junction with permanent sentry posts.