HSZ issue draws Sri Lanka government team to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 December 2002, 13:37 GMT]
A high level team of Sri Lanka government officials led by Minister Mr.Milinda Morogoda Tuesday flew to Jaffna to hold crucial discussions regarding the dispute that has arisen between the hierarchy of the Sri Lanka Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the question of resettling displaced families in villages of the high security zone (HSZ), sources said.

The Sri Lanka government delegation comprised Defense Ministry Secretary Mr. Austin Fernando, the Commander the SLA Lionel Balagalle, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Major General Shantha Kottegoda and Jaffna Area Commander Major General Sarath Fonseka.

The team first inspected various sites in the high security zones in the peninsula and later held discussions at the Palaly Headquarters, sources said.

Tuesday evening the team is scheduled to meet the Bishop of Jaffna Rt.Rev Thomas Soundaranayagam in Bishop's House and later Minister T.Maheswaran at his residence, sources said.

Meanwhile Mr.Ali Zahir Moulana, former parliamentarian and presently a special advisor to Policy Planning and Implementation Ministry headed by the Prime Minister said both parties should work out a formula adopting give and take policy to find an amicable solution to the resettlement crisis in high security zone. He expressed hope that a solution would be found to this issue. He also pointed that the plight of displaced should be given top consideration when finding a solution to the resettlement issue.

"The parties concerned to the conflict should treat the subject of resettling displaced more humanely,"Mr.Ali Zahir Moulana addressing a meeting at Kokkadichcholai in eastern province Monday.

Earlier, LTTE's chief negotiator, Mr. Balasingham, said that “Detailed discussion on core issues cannot be undertaken when hundreds of thousands of Tamil people remain unable to return to their homes,” adding that “the resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced [people] are the urgent cardinal issue of the day.”


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