Farmers await SLA's permission to clear mines

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 August 2003, 12:02 GMT]
The Jaffna Government Mr.S.Pathmanathan Saturday requested the Sri Lanka Army's (SLA's) Jaffna area commander located at Palaly main base to grant permission to remove landmines and other unexploded ordnance from the paddy fields released from the Thenmaradchchi High Security Zone (HSZ) for rain fed cultivation this year, district secretariat sources said.

Although the SLA has released one thousand acres out of five thousand acres under its occupation in Thenmaradchchi it has not allowed the farmers to prepare the fields for sowing saying that landmines and other explosives are not removed from the released paddy fields, sources said.

The Government Agent has sought permission as the "Halo Trust " has come forward to de-mine the released paddy fields, sources said.

Meanwhile, the SLA has agreed to open two other roads for the farmers to enter the released paddy fields- one through Maravanpulo-Aaladi junction and the other by Chavakachcheri. The only road opened earlier has been found to be unfit for travelling or taking agricultural implements to the paddy fields during rainy season, farmers complained.

 

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