Give in to Ransom Demands; Army is There to Protect You” – Jaffna
Commander Tells Business Community
[Updated :: 2011-05-08 15:44:28
“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
“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
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