SLA’s new Jaffna commander meets NGOs

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 14:17 GMT]
"I want the people of Jaffna to live without the interference of the military in their day-to-day lives. I want good relations with them," said Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala, the new Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, during a discussion with the Council of Non-Governmental Organisations in the northern peninsula, according to NGO Council officials who took part in the meeting Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Chandrapala told the Council of Jaffna NGOs that families displaced by Sri Lanka army can resettle in their homes 600 metres beyond the defence perimeters of the SLA garrisons. He also told the Council officials that no party should be allowed to engage in politics at schools.

The Council of Jaffna NGOs urged the Sri Lankan security forces commander to take steps for the removal of SLA garrisons that occupy villages, towns and farmlands in many parts of the northern peninsula. They also asked him to remove the SLA garrison in Pt. Pedro within which two of Jaffna premier schools, Hartley College and the Methodist Girls’ High School, are situated so that students can be free of military checkpoints and the garrisoned atmosphere.

The Jaffna NGO council officials also raised the issue of the large number of coconut plantations that are still occupied by the SLA in Jaffna. They told Ma. Gen. Susil Chandrapala that the persons whose plantations have been destroyed due to the SLA garrisoning should be compensated for the loss and that other owners should be allowed to take the produce from their properties.

Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala told officials of the Jaffna Council of NGOs that he has to study the issue of the SLA garrisons as he assumed duties as the SF commander very recently and that he would soon explain to them why the SLA needs high security zones in the northern peninsula.

Dr. V. Thiyagarajah, the President of the Council of Jaffna NGOs Council, Mr. V. Sakthivel, Vice President, and several other senior officials took part in the meeting with the SF commander at the Council’s office on Temple Road in Jaffna town.

 

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