SLA orders government officials to resume census work in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 September 2007, 06:15 GMT]
In a meeting held Saturday within Palaly High Security Zone (HSZ), Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna Commander Major General G.A.Chandrasri issued strict orders to the Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna and to the District Secretaries (DS) to commence immediately the task of compiling of Census and Statistics of all civilians in the peninsula.

The census data gathering started two months earlier, was later abandoned due to the refusal of local officials to continue their work due to security concerns.

However, the Army chief of the Northern division has issued a sudden order Saturday to begin Census related work immediately. Consequently the training for the enumerators for the various districts is scheduled to begin today, sources said.

The last attempt by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) in 2002 to conduct a census in Jaffna peninsula was discontinued following death threats issued by a group which called itself “Ellalan Force.”

Meanwhile, a number of civil groups and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians voiced their opposition for census in Jaffna and said, since hundreds of thousands have become displaced from the peninsula and a large number has left Sri Lanka, the results of the census will have adverse impact on the proposed development schemes. The number of parliamentarians representing the people in the peninsula will not be accurate, the MPs said.

SLA has already registered all the motor vehicles and the bicycles in the district and also collected detailed information about all the families living in the SLA controlled peninsula.

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