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“Don’t Give in to Ransom Demands; Army is There to Protect You” – Jaffna Commander Tells Business Community
[Updated :: 2011-05-08 15:44:28 Hours]

“The era we worked under threat at gun point is over and now you have liberty to engage in your legitimate business. If you or your business comes under forceful obstruction or threat by any group or individual, Army is put on standby to protect you,” said the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe addressing a gathering of businessmen of Jaffna Sunday (08).

“His Excellency the President has given all directions to ensure speedy infrastructure development in the peninsula and government is spending billions of rupees for the development of Jaffna. Almost all leading local banks and many foreign banks have opened up their branches in Jaffna. Roads are being expanded, infrastructures are being developed almost every inch of land is now being cultivated. All these signs show that business of Jaffna is flourishing. It is the duty of the Army in Jaffna to ensure security of you and your business,” Commander SF-J claimed during the meeting held at the Catholic Press Hall.

The meeting was arranged by the Civil Affairs and Public Relations Offices Jaffna to discuss constrains and difficulties faced by businessmen of the entire peninsula after a few incidents of demanding ransom from businessmen were reported during past six months.

Addressing over 250 representatives from all part of the peninsula, Jaffna Commander said that secret behind the speedy development of Singapore is trade and commerce. He added that Jaffna being almost similar to same stretch of land has the capacity to emerge to that magnitude of development in the field of trade and commerce.

“Jaffna airstrip is being expanded with assistance of the Indian government and the Kankesanthurai harbour will be opened for commercial activities in future. These new trends will enhance business in Jaffna,” Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe revealed.

“In the aftermath of defeating terrorism, Army’s role has changed to assist rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation. Defence Secretary took all steps to remove all barriers from Elephant Pass. In this transition period where Jaffna is striving to regain its former glory, you as members of business community have a great responsibility towards giving dividends of peace gained to Jaffna promoting trade and commerce. If you come under demand of ransom or any threat to your legitimate business, immediately keep the nearest Army camp informed or directly contact me through my personal telephones and other specified telephone numbers given so that necessary actions to ensure safety of you and your business will be taken. His Excellency the President and Hon. Secretary Defence have issued clear instructions that any attempt to obtain ransom or any form of extortion anywhere in the island be crushed,” Jaffna Commander further said.

The meeting ended with a session during which participants exchanged views with the SF-J Commander.

General Officer Commanding 51 Division Major General Janaka Walgama, President Chamber of Commerce Mr. Rathnalingam Jayasekaram, Vice President Mr. P. Nagaratnam and Treasurer Mr. R. Jeyarajah were also present.

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