SLA blocks resettlement within 600 m radius of Palaly HSZ

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 August 2003, 19:43 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army has declared that the internally displaced families will not be allowed to resettle within a 600 meter radius of the Palaly high security zone in Jaffna district, and SLA authorities have asked those already resettled within 600 meters of the HSZ in Kuppilan north to vacate immediately from the area, civil groups in Jaffna said.

Hundreds of thousands of families fled from their villages close to the Palaly military airbase following the 1990 military operation. The Sri Lanka Army later destroyed several houses in the area. Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, some IDP families have resettled in certain sections of the Palaly HSZ in order to save the remaining houses. Now the SLA has asked these families to vacate their houses. Furthermore, the SLA has issued instruction that no IDP should resettle in their houses without prior permission of the security establishment, sources said.

The SLA has reduced the radius of the Palaly security zone from 1000 meters to 600 meters following the intervention of the Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, and allowed the IDPs to cultivate their lands in the released area. However, the SLA has specifically said no resettlement will be allowed within the 600 meter radius of the HSZ, the sources said.


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