Court recommendation on moving HSZ in Valikaamam ignored

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 March 2009, 17:12 GMT]
The committee appointed by Supreme Court to consider its recommendation to expedite resettlement of displaced residents from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Security Zone (HSZ) in Thellippazhai met Sunday in Palaali SLA head quarters headed by President of the committee, Jaffna High Court magistrate, R. T. Vicknarajah, to discuss the recommendation. The committee, however, decided on certain other measures related to the issue Sunday, ignoring the recommendation of the Court, attendees of the meeting said. Meanwhile, the committee’s announcement that demining work in the said HSZ has begun is refuted by the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) in Jaffna District Secretariat, the sources added.

The DCC that is responsible for approving demining projects in consultation with the demining organizations in Jaffna including Halo Trust, Danish Demining organization and the SLA said that permission to begin demining in the HSZ has not been granted yet.

It was decided in Sunday meeting that the students of Union College, Mahajana College and patients to the Cancer Treatment Centre, in Thellippa’lai HSZ who now have to walk a distance around 500 to 1000 m from the Front Defence Line (FDL) should be provided bus transport services.

Jaffna Government Agent was asked to take the responsibility of renovating the roads in the area and arrange for the bus transport service to the students and the patients.

Former Jaffna SLA commander Major Gen. Chandrasiri had earlier indicated that the said HSZ boundary will be soon shifted to locations behind the schools and the medical centre so that the public can enter them without restrictions.

The succeeding SLA commander, however, had not consented to shift the HSZ boundary as recommended by the Supreme Court.

The decisions taken in the meeting held Sunday by the committee has failed to consider the recommendation of the Court and send a report on it as instructed by the Court in the first instance, representatives of the organizations caring for the welfare of the displaced said.

The residents who were displaced by the SLA from their houses and lands in Thellippazhai are disappointed and said that they had been given false hopes of resettlement by the government as well as the SLA.

The government and its agencies in Jaffna had made much publicity to the resettlement of the IDPs in the HSZ, raising IDPs' hopes.


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