Troop reduction in Jaffna imminent - SLA official

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 June 2003, 11:48 GMT]
"If the current climate of peace prevails longer there will soon be reduction of troops from current number of 40,000 to close to 10,000. We are preparing plans to introduce this reduction," said Colonel M.G.Ratnayake, special Public relations officer appointed by the Colombo Military Head Quaters, a leading Jaffna daily, Uthayan reported.

"We have been making efforts to resettle displaced people in Jaffna. We have started making fundamental changes to decreasing the areas covered by High Security Zones and expanding the Police services.

"Civilian residences occupied by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers are being gradually returned to the owners. 500 acres of fertile land in Thanankilappu and 300 occupied houses in Ariyalai lying between the railway track and Kandy Road have been given back to the lawful owners of the land and the properties.

"We are planning to handing over houses in Gurunagar to the residents. I will be submitting a report in this regard to Minister of Lands Mr.R.Senaratne who is due to arrive in Jaffna today.

"In Thenmaradchy there is intense mine clearing activity in progress. Very soon people will be allowed to settle in these lands," added Mr. Ratnayake, as further reported by Uthayan.


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