SLA reneges on agreement, orders house demolition

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 September 2003, 20:37 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Friday ordered an internally displaced person (IDP), who had constructed a new house in the Ponnalai area of Jaffna district, to demolish his house, saying it is located inside the high security zone, even though permission to construct the house had been granted under a resettlement program, security sources said.

Indeed, sources said that the area had been released for resettlement of internally displaced as decided at a conference attended by the government agent and security officials after the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, civil group sources said.

Consequent to this decision, the IDP had constructed the house at a cost of about 200,000 rupees in his own land. However, senior officials of the SLA, after a visit to the site, have now instructed the owner to demolish it, saying it had been constructed illegally inside the high security zone, civil group sources said.

Officials of the Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka inspected the site on representation made by the affected IDP, sources said.

Meanwhile, several organizations formed to look after the interests and welfare of the IDPs have decided to take up this issue with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and to seek relief through legal means, sources said.

The SLA has already ordered the farmers of Kuppilan north, Kadduwan south and Punnalaikadduvan north to stop their agricultural activities as the lands brought under cultivation have been located inside the high security zones. However, farmers say that they are doing cultivation in these lands since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, sources said.


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