Japanese envoy visits Jaffna, Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 May 2004, 18:21 GMT]
Jaffna district intelligentsia Tuesday made an appeal to the Japanese government not to grant any aid to Sri Lankan government until a permanent political solution is found for the Tamil national question. A delegation of academics led by Jaffna University Vice Chancellor, Professor C.Mohanadas, Tuesday told the visiting Japanese ambassador in Sri Lanka, Mr.Akisuda, that Tamils in the northeast province have not been allowed by the government in power to enjoy the benefits of the ceasefire now holding in the country since February 22, 2002.

The academics pointed out that the majority community in the south enjoys the fruits of the ceasefire.

The Japanese envoy arrived in Jaffna by air Tuesday and first conferred with Sri Lankan military officials based in Palaly on the ground situation and later visited the Jaffna University, sources said.

A delegation comprising intelligentsia and deans of the university met with the Japanese ambassador and expressed their opinions in regard to the current political situation in the peninsula since the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the government and the LTTE, sources said.

Normalcy has returned to the south of the country and not in the northeast province, which has been devastated in the two decade old war. Restrictions on the movement of internally displaced families to resettle in their lands and houses are still continuing in the name of high security zones which are maintained by the government security forces even after the ceasefire.

Even now more than 65,000 internally displaced families have been languishing in refugee camps and welfare centres unable to return to their lands and houses, the delegation of academicians brought to the notice of the Japanese envoy, sources said.

The delegation reminded the Japanese envoy that the aid provided in the past by his government had been used by the Sri Lankan government for continuing the war against Tamils, sources said

" Hence we appeal to the Japanese government not to provide aid to Sri Lankan government until a lasting political solution thus ensuring permanent peace is found. Instead the Japanese government should exert pressure on the new Sri Lankan government to take constructive steps to devolve powers to the northeast civil administration," said the delegation of Jaffna academicians.

The Japanese envoy later in the afternoon held discussion with officials of the demining agency " Halo Trust " at the latter's office. Thereafter he paid a visit to the Jaffna teaching hospital and inquired from medical officials about the needs of the institution, sources said.

At the conclusion of the Jaffna visit, the Japanese envoy left by road to LTTE held Vanni region where he is scheduled to declare open the renovated Kilinochchi general hospital Wednesday morning, sources said.


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