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“Army Will Not Acquire Civilians’ Lands” – Jaffna Commander

[2012-07-09 19:33:29]

Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Monday (09) said, “Army has no plan to acquire civilians’ lands to establish camps in Jaffna. Instead, Army has been continuously handing back houses occupied by the Army since the end of war to their legitimate owners. But, as a matter of national security, SF-J Headquarters will acquire a limited area to expand the Palaly Airport and the Kankesanthurai Harbour, presently under the process of rapid expansion.”

Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe revealed those facts when he met the British High Commissioner Mr. John Rankin at Headquarters SF-J on Monday morning. Mr. Rankin arrived in Palaly for a two day visit in Jaffna with Political Officer to Jaffna Mrs. Asma Edris.

The visiting Diplomat who commended the Army’s role that promotes the lives of ex-LTTE combatants and other civilians in post war Jaffna inquired about the alleged acquisition of lands by the Army. SF-J Commander flatly refused this malicious allegations saying that all those are nothing but media exaggerations spread with hidden agenda.

“Presence of military in Jaffna has been reduced in greater numbers since 2009 and the remaining troops are engaged in humanitarian activities and development programmes in Jaffna. Like any other parts of Sri Lanka, Army is essential in the sphere of national security and only required strength of troops will remain in Jaffna. Reduction of troops will further continue considering the security situation. However, Army is not ready to take a security risk as they faced in early 1980s,” SF-J Commander clarified.

He offered special thanks to the British government for the enormous contribution being made by the Halo Trust in de-mining the affected areas. Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe apprised the visiting High Commissioner of the Army housing project for displaced civilians and livelihood programmes carried out for poor families and especially for ex-combatants.

Later, the British High Commissioner left Palaly to continue with the rest of his itinerary.

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