SLA's pass system burdens Ariyalai farmers

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 September 2005, 00:05 GMT]
Discussions on restarting cultivation in more than one hundred acres of fertile land located inside the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Ariyalai Jaffna was held in Ariyalai Sri Parvathy Vithiyalayam Sunday, sources in Jaffna said. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) 514 Brigade offiicers including Captain Ruwan, Jaffna Agricultural Department officials, and Ariyalai Farmers Union officials participated in the discussions presided by Secretary of Nallur Pradeshya Sabha, Mrs S Theivendram.

Jaffna Ariyalai
Jaffna Ariyalai
The SLA officers told the attendees that the SLA is willing to permit cultivation in the lands between 6 am and 6 pm but to be allowed into the HSZ area, the farmers should produce special passes issued by the 514 Brigade, farmers union officials said.

The civilian attendees expressed dismay that only a few of them possess the said passes and that the SLA need to expedite issuance of these passes to allow the remainder of the farmers to enable entry.

The Farmers union officials also pointed out that farmers will face pratical difficulties in employing additional day laborers to assist them during seeding and harvest times. No acceptable solution to resolve this matter has been suggested by the SLA officials, the union officials said.

The arable fields under discussion had remained fallow during the last ten years forcing the farmers and land owners to edge of poverty.

 

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