Uprooted families in Jaffna, still waiting action plan for resettlement

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 September 2008, 08:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials who met the committee appointed by the Colombo Supreme Court to explore the possibility of resettling uprooted people from the High Security Zone (HSZ) of the SLA, told the committee on Friday that more than 600 families, outside the HSZ and the adjoining no-man zone, have been resettled, including the data as part of the uprooted families within the HSZ. 19,000 families have been uprooted from their houses within the HSZ in Jaffna. Only 24 houses have been cleared for resettlement within the 600 meter no-go zone, the SLA has informed the committee.

The SLA officials added that they have taken steps to resettle further 656 families, beyond the no-go zone, in the second stage, without specifying the date of the commencement of the intended resettlement.

More than 19,000 families internally displaced due to SLA offensives on Jaffna peninsula continue to live in temporary refugee camps and with relatives.

Due to military presence, less than 6,000 IDP families had applied for permission to resettle. 3,000 of them were able to submit the deeds and other documents proving the ownership called for by Jaffna Secretariat.

The SLA in Jaffna has been very particular in fortifying its Forward Defence Line (FDL) zones and has not been favourable for resettlement within the HSZ, enclosing Kaangkeasanththu’rai (KKS) Naval Base and Palaali Military Air Base. The airport in Palaali was the only available civil airport in the North before it was taken over by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).

The Friday meeting was convened according to the decision taken on 23 August by the above committee to send a report on resettlement of IDP families in Valikaamam north to Colombo Supreme Court on 19 October.

Jaffna High Court Judge R. T. Vicknarajah, Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, Jaffna SLA Commander, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, Commander Northern naval area and Jaffna Deputy Inspector General of Police are the members of the committee that met Friday.

Colombo Supreme Court had appointed the above committee after inquiring into the Fundamental Rights Violation petition filed by the IDPs seeking permission to resettle in their villages in Valikaamam north and to engage in their livelihoods.


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