Despite promises made by politicians over a period of 20 years, villagers in Mundel in the Puttalam district still remain without an access road to the cemetery.
A 2 ½ acre block of land with space for a 20 ft access road was allocated for this purpose as far back as 1982. But the 100 families in Pulichchakulama are still forced to carry their dead over water courses, rough terrain and even across cement tanks built for prawn farming.
Since 1982 the prawn farms have encroached on to the land allocated for the access road to the cemetery.
Many villagers said they felt it was an insult to the dead to have to carry coffins through the prawn farms. They added, despite representations made to different persons in authority nothing had been done to change this situation. The community most inconvenienced by the lack of an access road is Tamil.
According to residents they complained to then President Kumaratunge as well as to Mr. Wickremesinghe when he was Prime Minister to no avail. In 2001 the present President’s secretary replied saying action would be taken, but here the matter has ended.
Local authorities too attempt to shift blame from one to another, with PC secretary J. Samantha claiming the area was being used for prawn farming and therefore access to the cemetery was only through the lagoon. He suggested the cemetery be shifted to another location as the land was unsuitable as a burial ground.