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Jaffna Commander Briefs Army’s Role in Post-War Jaffna to US Delegation

[2013-01-27 17:55:14]

“People of Jaffna know how the Army is helping them. Majority of people are pleased with the post-war development programme of the government and assistance extended by the Army to the public”, said Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Mahinda Hathurusinghe addressing a top level US diplomatic delegation visiting Jaffna on Sunday, January 27.

The 10 member delegation comprising US Ambassador in Colombo Her Excellency Ms Michele J Sison, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Mr. James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Mr. Wikram Singh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Ms. Jane B. Zinnerman and other diplomatic Officials, having being received at the Headquarters SF-J, Palaly, was briefed on present situation in Jaffna in terms of security, economic development, rehabilitation and resettlement and social harmony by Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe.

During the meeting, Jaffna Commander explained humanitarian aid and welfare measures extended by the Army towards reintegrated ex-LTTE combatants and needy people.

“We have so far reduced the strength of troops in Jaffna in large numbers since 2009. Army does not involve in civil administration at all and the government mechanism similar to the South is very much in place with all responsibilities discharged by them. With regard to the Army, plans are under way to reduce more troops in consultation with higher Headquarters in the near future”, SF Commander explained.

Answering a question on de-mining and resettlement, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe said less that 3% of the land is yet to be de-mined. It was further said that many blocks of lands, though months have passed after they were de-mined and released, are still not resettled since their owners presently living overseas do not want to return.

Her Excellency Ms Michele J Sison thanked the SF-J Commander for his detailed presentation on Jaffna and appreciated the Army’s role in post-war Jaffna.

The delegation left Palaly to visit a few locations before departure for Colombo.

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