High Security Zones will not be dismantled says SL Minister

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 July 2010, 15:32 GMT]
Sri Lankan Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on Thursday said High Security Zones of the Sri Lankan military in strategic locations will remain although the war had ended and people have been claiming ownership of their land. The Sri Lankan minister said even super powers such as the USA were having High Security Zones. Colombo's decision comes while Indian assistance was provided to revive the KKS Harbour, the cement factory and Palaali airstrip, all of which are located inside High Security Zone. The Sri Lankan military is also setting up new bases along the coastal areas of North and East in recent weeks. Tamil circles, commenting on the controversial announcement by Mr. Rambukwella said Colombo was preparing the ground for large-scale Sinhalicisation of strategic Tamil areas

Mr. Rambukwella declared the decision at a press briefing following the cabinet meeting in Colombo on Thursday. The government was willing to pay compensation to the land owners, he further said.

The Sri Lankan government had refused resettlement during the peace process citing that the LTTE was having long range artillery guns and hired Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Satish Nambiar, a former Indian military official, to defend itself.

Only 20 percent of the total estimated 1.5 million land-mines have been cleared, the Sri Lankan minister further said.

266,000 land-mines have been cleared in 640 identified areas, according to Mr. Rambukwella.

He further said that 90 percent of the mine clearing is done by the Sri Lanka Army. Many NGOs that have earlier worked with mine clearance are not allowed to operate by the Sri Lankan government.

 

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