Resettling IDPs in SLA HSZ in Valikaamam discussed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 July 2008, 10:18 GMT]
The committee appointed by Colombo Supreme Court to explore resettling Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the High Security Zones (HSZ) of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Valikaamam north in Jaffna peninsula met Monday at Palaali SLA head quarters, and decided to take steps to resettle the IDPs in places which are not at present occupied by SLA, sources in Jaffna said.

A special committee headed by Valikaamam north Divisional Secretary consisting of area SLA officers will visit the places of the applicants for resettlement and explore possibilities of resettlement stage by stage in places found suitable for resettlement, the sources added.

The other members of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court are Jaffna 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 who has been appointed in place of Pujith Jayasundara who had gone on transfer.

The Divisional Secretary of Valikaamam north, C. Muraleetharan and SLA officers of the area also participated in the Monday meeting.

Colombo Supreme Court had appointed the above committee after inquiring into the Fundamental Rights Violation petition filed by the IDPs seeking permission to resettle in their villages in Valikaamam north and to engage in their livelihoods.

The Court had directed Jaffna High Court Judge R. T. Vignarajah Thursday by letter to take steps to resettle the families identified by Jaffna GA as eligible for resettlement.

The issue of resettling was explored into deeply as the decision taken was to be conveyed to Colombo Supreme Court that will be inquiring into the petition again in September.

A special committee led by Valikaamam north Divisional Secretary consisting of the SLA officers of the area considered for resettlement was appointed in the Monday meeting.

This committee was directed to visit the places of the applicants for resettlement and explore possibilities of resettlement stage by stage in places found suitable for resettlement and to prepare a detailed report on the situation.

The above report will be submitted to the main committee when it will be meeting again 28 August.

Initially, Jaffna GA, in consultation with the SLA Jaffna Commander, had selected some places in Valikaamam north suitable for immediate resettlement of IDPs.

Applications were called from those wishing to resettle and thousands of IDPs had applied.

The special committee was directed to visit the places of the IDPs found eligible for resettlement by the GA who had considered the applications.

IDPs will be resettled in stages according to the report submitted by the special committee and then their problems and needs will be conveyed to the Chief Justice in a report in the inquiry that is to be held on 15 September.



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