233 families allowed to resettle in no-man zone in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 August 2008, 07:23 GMT]
The committee appointed by Colombo Supreme Court to explore into the possibility of resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in areas inside Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam north met Saturday around 3:30 p.m in Palaali SLA Head Quarters and decided to allow resettlement in the first stage only in areas outside the HSZ within the 600 meter distance of no-manís area, contrary to the hopes of the applicants for resettlement inside the HSZ, now occupied by the SLA.
Jaffna High Court Judge R. T. Vicknarajah, Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, Jaffna SLA Commander, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, Rear Admiral T. Samarasinghe, Commander Northern naval area and Jaffna Deputy Inspector General of Police, W. S. U. Fernando are the members of the committee that met Saturday.
It was decided in the meeting to allow only 233 families to resettle in seven GS (Village Officer) areas outside the HSZ line in no-manís land and not inside the HSZ from where the residents had been expelled by the SLA.
Thellippazhai, Pannaalai, Kadduvan South, Viththakapuram, Thanththai Chelvaa Nakar, Thurkkaapuram and Thellippazhai East adjoining the defence line of the Palaali garrison are the areas permitted for resettlement.
Besides, 600 families who had to flee their houses in the outer periphery of the no-manís area and not allowed to re-settle so far, would also be permitted to resettle.
The SLA will clear the land mines in the selected areas while GA Jaffna will take steps to provide housing facilities for the IDPs returning to their lands.
Meanwhile, it was also decided in the meeting to permit agricultural pursuits in the no-man's land though resettlement does not commence immediately.
It was decided to send a report on resettlement of IDPs in Valikaamam north to Colombo Supreme Court on 19 October and the committee to meet again on 5 September for further deliberations.