Sri Lanka’s army commander warns Tamils: as we give to you, we can take back
Sri Lanka’s army commander warned Tamils that the army was able to take back what it ‘granted’ to the Tamil people, whilst … parents who are gathered here today. What I ask of you as an army commander is that for your children, your siblings, the upcoming
With the latest release of lands in Thelippalai recently, 50 percent of those currently in IDP centres would be able to return to their rightful lands, Commander, Security Force–Jaffna, Major General Darshana Hettiarrachchi said.
The Sri Lanka Army, in keeping with the government’s policy of returning lands held by the military to its rightful owners, released another 683 acres of land to 964 families (3309 members), at a ceremony presided over by Army Commander Lt.General Mahesh Senanayake at Mailadi on April 13.
Under the guidance of Major General Hettiarrachchi, lands belonging to four GS Divisions in Theleppalai DS Division were handed over to civilians who were in IDP camps or living with relatives. Accordingly, the land was handed over to the Jaffna District Secretary, Nagalingam Vethanayaham, to be handed over to the rightful owners after due process.
According to Major General Hettiarrachchi, this was a goodwill gesture towards the people of Jaffna for the New Year. Meanwhile, the Army Commander speaking at the ceremony said the Kankesanthurai to Point Pedro road could now be used for public transport and for their private vehicles between 6 am to 7 pm. Army Commander Senanayake said, “This is your Army. This is the Army of the country. Our responsibility is to ensure the well-being of citizens of this island, whether it is the South or North, irrespective if whether they are Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic or any other race or religion.” The District Secretary (Jaffna), Additional Secretary (Land), Divisional Secretary (Theleppalai), beneficiaries, villagers and several Senior Army Officers and Army personnel also attended the ceremony.
Speaking to the Daily News Major General Darshana Hettiarrachchi said it’s been nine years since the war ended and it would not be fair to allow them to be living in IDP centres under difficult conditions.
“These people have suffered for a long time and they deserve to have their lands back and to return to their peaceful living. We have moved our military establishments into the army cantonment area so that these lands could be returned to the people.”
Meanwhile, the Jaffna SF Commander refuted allegations that the releasing of these lands could pose a threat to the Palali airport etc. He said, due measures have been taken to fortify the security requirements in the area to ensure the safety of all. He noted that the Security Forces are there to safeguard the country and the Tri-Forces are very capable of their duties.
Hence, he said it was not required to hold onto people’s lands for security purposes and allow them to suffer in temporary shelters.
“They too have the right to lead their normal lives and live in peace. If reconciliation is to happen, we must return their lands to them and not hold more than what is absolutely necessary. The releasing of these lands are being done after meticulous consideration and planning and there is absolutely no threat to national security by returning these lands to these people,” Maj. Gen. Hettiarachchi noted.
The Sri Lankan government has not done anything to reduce the military footprint in the North-East and oust Sinhalese who illegally occupy Tamil lands and houses said the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran whilst in Tamil Nadu.
Mr Wigneswaran said that the Tamils that remained on the island faced serious problems from the Sinhalese, reports…
Councillors from the Northern Provincial Council staged a protest on Tuesday, after the council passed a resolution last week condemning state sponsored Sinhala settlements in Mullaitivu and across the Vanni.
The Sri Lankan navy on Sunday released just 1.5 acres in Vadduvakal currently occupied by the Gotabhaya Navy Camp, which continues to span across 617 acres.
The 1.5 acres belong to three individuals, who criticised the navy’s decision to release such a small proportion of the occupied land.
The past three years have seen a number of protests across the North-East calling on the state’s armed forces to release land back to residents.
The Sri Lankan Army released 683 acres of land from the Vali North high security zone after 28 years of occupation, although of the three village divisions released no village has been returned in its entirety and army camps remain dotted among the released homes. Those who were able to return, returned to find their old homes and infrastructure completely demolished.
Sri Lanka’s Minister for Resettlement has said 500 acres of Tamil people’s land will be released in Valikamam North when earlier in the week the ministry’s secretary had pledged that 650 acres would be released. According to the Uthayan, the resettlement minister D. M. Swaminathan told journalists in Colombo that 500 acres of land in Valikamam North would be released on April 16, contradicting an announcement by secretary Ponniah Suresh who had said on Thursday that 650 acres would be released. Meanwhile officials at the Jaffna District Secretariat have also said that the Sri Lankan Army is…
Displaced families given army-built houses in Varuththalai Vilaan, Telippalai this week, expressed concern over the coninued functioning of military checkpoints close to the new housing scheme. Thirty houses military built houses were handed over to families displaced from areas including Valikaamam North at an event yesterday. Residents were also forced to take out loans in order to invest in suitable windows, doors, bathroom fittings, as the Rs 800,000 allocated by the government for the houses was insufficient for adequate quality goods.