[Chief Minister, C.V.Wigneswaran. (File)]
COLOMBO: The Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V.Wigneswaran, has asked the Sri Lankan government to follow the Pinheiro Principles and other UN conventions on the restitution of properties of displaced Tamils.
He was speaking at a function in Jaffna in which President Maithripala Sirisena gave back to civilians, 425 acres in Jaffna peninsula which the army had appropriated. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga were present.
The grant of 425 acres is the first installment of 1000 acres to be given back. But more than 5000 acres fertile land still remain under military occupation and are being used for cultivation of crops.
Wigneswaran pointed out that the military has not paid rentals nor compensation for using the civilians’ lands for so long. Houses were destroyed in 2013 just before the elections to the Northern Provincial Council. People who went to see the released lands and properties recently found them in a shambles.
The Chief Minister further said that fishermen of Myliddy, who had in the past accounted for a third of Sri Lanka’s fish production, are not allowed to live near the coast.
President Sirisena assured the CM that his government would give high priority to resolving land issues because such issues have caused uprisings and revolutions in the past.
By P K Balachandran / The Hindu