SLA aircraft damaged on landing, troops escape injury

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 June 2003, 18:10 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force's (SLAF's) AN-32 aircraft carrying 55 soldiers from Colombo Ratmalana airport to Palaly airport in Jaffna veered off the runway during landing and crashed into a nearby a signpost Saturday injuring one soldier, said security sources in Jaffna.

The troops were evacuated using emergency procedures and the air-craft fire was brought under control by troops manning the airport, according to airport officials.

Palaly airport lies within the High Security Zone demarked by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which has razed to the ground residences and felled trees that lie within the security perimeter which covers about 10km radius around the airport. Displaced residents are living in refugee camps and with relatives for the past decade.

Valigamam displaced residents have been agitating recently calling for the Sri Lanka Government to allow them to resettle and farm the fertile lands that fall within the HSZ.

LTTE has also raised the issue of resettlement in HSZs in its six rounds of peace talks with the Sri Lanka Government.

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