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Jaffna Commander Enlightens UN Officials on Valikamam North Land Issue

[2013-05-22 08:40:23]

Commander Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Tuesday (21) clarified the reality of the issue on taking over lands in Valikamam North to top officials of United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Ms Agnes Asekenye – Oonyu, Head of Office and Mr. Mark Prasopa – Plaizier, Deputy Head of Office.

During the meeting, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe refused the allegation leveled by some interested parties using biased media that Army is taking over civilians’ lands, and showed that it is done by the government for development activities in Jaffna such as expansion of the Palaly airport and Kankesanthurai harbour. He further highlighted the importance of maintaining an adequate number of troops in Jaffna as a matter of national security and told that some lands within the area earmarked to be taken over will be used for that purpose. SF-J Commander enlightened the UN officials that there is discrepancy on figures of people losing their lands, and actual figure is lesser than what is highlighted by different sections with political motives.

“Arrangements are made to resettle the displaced fisheries families to be resettled in government lands on the coastal belt soon with directives of the His Excellency the President and the Secretary Defence. And they will be given compensations for their lands according to the present value. However, most of the lands to be taken over belong to government institutes”, he told the UN officials.

Visiting UN officials were educated on the present security situation in Jaffna and they were also given a comprehensive idea on reduction of troops in the peninisula, welfare works that Jaffna soldiers carrying out at village level for civilians to improve their living standard, livelihood development programmes starttted for reintegrated ex-LTTE combatants, housing project and scholarship projects for low income families initiated by this Headquarters and soldiers’ contribution to government development programme for Jaffna.

Head of OCHA Office and her deputy, before their departure, commended the Army’s role in post war Jaffna and congratulated the SF-J Commander for his initiative and commitment shown to develop Jaffna and to improve the life of Jaffna.

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