(IDPs in Jaffna – File photo)
The Ministry of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs is holding talks for the release of 18,000 acres of land in the North from security forces’ occupation to resettle displaced Northern Tamils on their own lands, Minister D.M. Swaminathan told the Sunday Observer. An extent of 44,548 acres is under military occupation in the North and the East, according to reports that he had received from the Defence Ministry and he was holding discussions for the release of 9,000 acres in Jaffna and another 9,000 acres in Mullaitivu, as a second step following the release of 1,000 acres in Valikamam North in Jaffna, he said.
The 32 welfare centres in Jaffna and the three in Trincomalee need to be dismantled immediately to end the decades-long saga of refugee life of Tamils and only 2,000 acres would be initially needed for the purpose, the Minister said.
by P. Krishnaswamy/ The Observer