As a ‘New Year gift’ to the people in the north, the Sri Lanka Army is releasing 650 acres of privately owned lands in the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Jaffna, the government information department said.
The land in Palaly in the Valikamam north divisional secretariat in Jaffna had been occupied by the security forces since 1990.
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi said that 650 acres of land in and around the Palaly main military complex, including land in Vasavilan and Palaly north, would be released to their original owners on April 16.
He said the military was demarcating these areas and also readjusting its forward defence lines.
Following several rounds of talks between high ranking military officials in Jaffna and district secretariat officials and officials of the rehabilitation, reconstruction and religious affairs ministry the military has decided to return the land to their
Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Religious Affairs Minister D M Swaminathan said the military was releasing the lands as a goodwill
The military had come to an understanding to meet the needs of the people who had lost their lands in the north, the minister said.
Since 1990, some 27,000 acres of private land had been occupied by the military as the war intensified. However, with the end of the war in 2009, the government took the initiative to return the occupied private lands to their original owners.
The military has also asked the rehabilitation ministry for Rs880mn to relocate its military installations in the north and east.
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