Thondaman visits Jaffna
[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 May 2002, 19:02 GMT]
Estate Infrastructure and Housing Minister Mr.Arumugam Thondaman arrived in Jaffna via the Kandy-Jaffna Road (A9) on a two-day official visit. He held a conference with Government officials at the Jaffna Secretariat Thursday and was told that more than five thousand houses in the Maruthankerni division and Thenmaradchchi area alone had been destroyed and damaged due to military operations by the Sri Lanka Army.
The Jaffna Government Agent appealed to the Minister that the Government should take immediate steps to provide financial assistance to the house owners to rebuild their dwellings.
The Additional Government Agent Ms. Pathiniammal Thilakanayagam Paul brought to the notice of the minister that the entire Valikamam area surrounding the Palaly main army camp and airbase has become no-man's land with the mass displacement of people since 1986 due to military operations by the SLA.
The AGA also stressed that the displaced should be resettled in the villages in the Valikamam area and they should be provided with necessary assistance to rebuild their houses.
Minister Thondaman replied that the government is "dedicated" to the development of the war ravaged Jaffna peninsula. However, "people cannot expect any development within a short period."
The Minister also visited Chavakachcheri, Navatkuli and several other adjoining villages where a large number of houses had been razed to the ground due to military operations by the SLA.
He was told that the mass destruction in these areas was due to the use of multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL) by the SLA.
The Minister donated roofing materials to poor people who have lost houses in the war, sources said.