2ND LEAD (Correction)

SLGA in Jaffna blamed for manipulating statistics of uprooted people from HSZ

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 December 2011, 21:51 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Government Agent in Jaffna, Imelda Sugumar, has gone on record last week drastically reducing the number of uprooted persons from the SL military-occupied High Security Zone in the district, from 66,905 persons of 14,004 families as reported by her secretariat last year, to 36,442 persons of 10,170 families this year. Ms. Sugumar was citing ‘latest figures’ from December 06, 2011. In reality, the resettlement has gone at a snail's pace and there are still around 60,000 people waiting to resettle in their lands still occupied in the name of High Security Zones. The GA and Jaffna SL military commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, in December 2010, went on record arguing that mine-clearance in HSZ area would take another 10 years. One month ago, Mahinda Hathurusinghe was giving the figure of people remaining to be resettled as numbering only around 18,000.

A total number of 70,423 people of 14,993 families were uprooted from the HSZ of Valikaamam alone by the Sri Lanka military, 20 years ago, according to the statistics from her secretariat.

Last year, the SLGA said 66,905 people of 14,004 families from the HSZ were living in camps and in relatives' houses.

But, the same figure has been reduced to 36,442 persons of 10,170 families.

According to Sugumar 30,021 persons were living with relatives and 6,421 persons were living in around 50 ‘Wellfare Centres’, according Ms. Sugumar's ‘statistics’.

Independent activists from displaced peoples associations in Jaffna blamed the SL military establishment for manipulating down the statistics of uprooted people in the district through the SLGA.

More and more lands within the HSZ, where mine clearing was completed, have been handed over to SL military and foreign corporate establishments as Colombo is engaged in committing a systematic structural genocide with far reaching environmental, demographic, economic and cultural dimensions in the occupied Tamil country.

Around 60,000 people in the district are still unable to resettle in their own lands, according to the representatives of displaced peoples associations in Jaffna.


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