CTTU discusses Jaffna HSZ issue with SL President
[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 December 2004, 03:18 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, told a delegation of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) Friday that the Sri Lankan security forces continue to believe that Liberation Tiger cadres would infiltrate into the high security zones if the internally displaced families were allowed to resettle, according to CTTU general secretary Mr.T.Mahasivam.
Despite the ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers, the plight of the internally displaced people has not improved.
The Sri Lanka Army continues to insist that allowing the IDPs to resettle would allow the LTTE to infiltrate the areas close to
its camps. As a result, thousands of IDPs are languishing in welfare centres and refugee camps while their homes are occupied by the SLA or fall in areas declared as HSZ.
The CTTU delegation discussed the HSZ problem with the President soon after a conference between the President and representatives of several teacher trade unions was over Friday evening, Mr.Mahasivam said.
The Tamil teachers' delegation brought to the notice of the President that internally displaced teachers and public servants have been living in rented out houses as they are refused permission to resettle in the own houses and
lands, which are occupied by the government troops in the name of HSZ. The delgation pointed out that the Sri Lanka Army is not paying any rent to the houses owned by the IDP families, sources said.
According to Mr. Mahasivam, the President in her response to the CTTU delegation said that the government was "very keen" on finding a permanent political solution to the ethnic conflict and that, once a solution was found "all problems including the resettlement" in the HSZ could be solved.
Peace talks between the GoSL and the LTTE have been suspended following the LTTE's submission of it Interim Self Governing Autority (ISGA) proposals as the GoSL refused to hold talks on the basis of ISGA. Currently there is little hope of any forward movement in the peace process. As the GoSL continues to impose its HSZ, and the peace process remains suspended, the plight of the IDPs continues to worsen, civil sources said.