SLA hands over Nelliady occupied lands to owners
[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 July 2004, 16:45 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) after eight years of its occupation Sunday handed over a section of the agricultural land used for cultivation of subsidiary crops located in Nelliyady area in the Vadamarachchi division in Jaffna district to their owners in the presence of representatives of Nelliyady Farmers Society led by its President Mr.S. Ratnasabapathy. SLA official T.Jayantha
of 52-4 Brigade located in the area participated in the event, civil sources said.
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Nelliady is a residential town located 25km northeast of Jaffna town and about 5km southwest of Point Pedro.
The released agricultural plots of land were in the occupation of the SLA since 1996 when Jaffna peninsula was brought under the control of SLA after a military offensive.
Farmers' representatives requested the SLA official present at the event to hand back to the owners, houses and the remaining agricultural lands under military occupation and control without any further delay, sources said.
The SLA established a camp and a sand bund for their security purposes in the said land. The sand bund built across the agricultural lands was removed later, sources said.
The SLA handed over the land following the representations made by the farmers to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) that the agricultural lands should be returned to them as the produce from these lands was the only source of their income, sources said.