25 May 2011
Around 55,700 people still live the life of refugees in Jaffna, conceded Sri Lanka Government Agent in Jaffna, Mrs. Imelda Sugumar on Tuesday. The number includes people who lost their homes by the confiscation of lands by the occupying Army in Jaffna for ‘High Security Zones’ (HSZ) and those who have Jaffna connections and have come from Vanni after the war.
On de-mining HSZs, 32 percent has been completed, 56 percent doesn’t need de-mining, work progresses in 5 percent and work is yet to start only in 7percent of lands, Imelda said. She didn’t answer the question whether 26 villages that are yet to be resettled in the Valikaamam HSZ come under the 56 percent that doesn’t need de-mining. She also didn’t answer the question whether the lands that are not de-mined yet are localities that have been refused of vacation by the occupying Army.
Up to March this year, 75,907 people belonging to 26,981 families have been resettled in Jaffna, Imelda said.
55,700 people of 15, 495 continue with refugee life, she said, adding that the numbers include people who have come from the HSZs in Jaffna and their bordering villages as well as people who have come into Jaffna from Vanni.
The UN figures on this quoting a higher number are probably old statistics she further said.
The statistics are mere statistics of no meaning, news sources in Jaffna said.
Even after one and a half years, the people who have come from Vanni and resettled in Jaffna live under temporary shelters of tin sheets.
They didn’t get anything else beyond 5,000 Rs (roughly 50 US $) ‘assistance’ and just 13 tin-sheets provided by the Indian government, for their so-called ‘rehabilitation’.