SLA Jaffna commander refuses to release Palaali lands at meeting presided by Wickramasinghe

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 August 2019, 23:08 GMT]
The commander of the SL Army in Jaffna Major General Ruwan Wanigasooriya, has openly refused to release the SL military-occupied lands in Palaali and Vasaavi'laan citing the expansion of Palaali airport. The revelation was made at the District Coordinating Committee meeting which was presided by the visiting SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe at the District Secretariat of Jaffna on Saturday. The scheme is projected as ‘development’ by New Delhi and Colombo while the uprooted people of the villages demand their lands released back to them. The TNA is observing silence. However, the uprooted land-owners are not going to tolerate the military grabbing these lands anymore permanently, said Chairman of Valikaamam North Resettlement Committee Mr Shageevan Shanmugalingam, who is also an elected member of the Divisional Council of Valikaamam North.

In addition to the lands located to the east of Palaalai, the SL military is also blocking 4 km stretch of Valvai Araali Road. It is adding to the immense hardships of the people, including the patients accessing the Cancer Hospital at Thellip-pazhai from remote areas, Mr Shageevan told TamilNet.

The announcement by the SL Commander in Jaffna is also violating a resolution made in a previous sitting of the District Coordinating Committee, he further said.

Mr Shageevan warned that the SL military is going to grab 1,000 acres of additional lands.

The lands in question are fertile lands best suited for agriculture.

Palaali, KKS, SL military occupied HSZ
The Sri Lankan military occupied High Security Zone (HSZ) along the northern coast of Jaffna peninsula, that evicted a large number of Tamil civilians from their homes for two decades now [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth]

While there are innovative solutions practised in other countries and airports such as extending runways into the sea through creating artificial extension and even islands, New Delhi and Colombo want Tamils to give up their lands.

Furthermore, the SL military commander was justifying the continued militarisation of Palaali, claiming that it needs these lands to station the troops for the ‘protection’ of the civilian airport. This is insane, he said.

There are even other solutions such as considering an airport in one of the islets or Poonakari (Pooneryn) as it had earlier been suggested, he further said.



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