India should not assist expansion of Palaly Airbase- Minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 January 2004, 16:39 GMT]
"India should desist from providing financial assistance to expand the runways of Palay airbase as it will help the Sri Lanka Government to annex additional fertile lands and residences of Jaffna people into the High Security Zone (HSZ)," said Minister of Hindu Affairs, Mr.Maheswaran, popular Tamil daily Uthayan reported in its Wednesday edition.

"HSZ around Palaly airbase has already denied thousands of Jaffna residents their fundamental right to live in their ancestral homes. Sri Lanka Army prohibits use of large areas of fertile agricultural land and hundreds of houses lying inside and close to the HSZ. Many civilians have lost their livelihoods due to this and have been forced into poverty.

"I will be writing to the Indian Embassy in Colombo to stop any financial assistance that will help expand the HSZ. I am also planning to organize and participate in a highlevel delegation to New Delhi to discuss this matter with Indian officials," Uthayan quoted Minister Maheswaran as saying.

The Minister also discussed this matter with the British Ambassador when the Ambassador met Mr.Maheswaran in his Ministry Office Tuesday, the report added.

 

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