HRC requests SLA to submit report on HSZ issue

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 July 2003, 18:20 GMT]
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has asked the Sri Lanka Army to furnish a report regarding complaints made by several internally displaced people of the Jaffna district that they are unable to resettle in their homes and do cultivation in their agricultural lands as they have been occupied by the SLA in the name of high security zones (HSZ), sources in Colombo said.

This request was made at a conference held in Colombo Friday by the Chairman of the HRC, the sources said.

The conference was held to discuss the HSZ issue following about four hundred complaints received by the HRC’s Jaffna regional office from the internally displaced, sources said.

The Jaffna area commander of the SLA, Major General Sarath Fonseka, is reported to have said in reply to the request by the HRC chairman at the conference, " We are only worried about the security of the soldiers in the Jaffna peninsula. We are not in a position to think about the resettlement of IDPs in the HSZ at this juncture," sources said.

When an SLA official said, "We have declared HSZ in Jaffna district under the Public Security Act," the HRC Chairman responded that with the lapse of the Emergency Regulations, the Public Security Act cannot be enforced, sources said.

The HRC Chairman said disallowing IDPs to resettle in the own homes and lands could be considered human right violations, and requested the SLA to submit a comprehensive report on the question of allowing resettling the IDPs in their lands, sources said


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