Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today proposed that a committee comprising all the MPs from the Jaffna district be appointed for the government to consult in matters such as the dismantling of the High Security Zones in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the emergency regulations.
Mr. Wickremesinghe, raising a question under the Standing Order 23-II , said that advice could be sought from this committee on such matters. He stressed the need to return the lands within the High Securty Zones to their legitimate owners.
Also, he took a swipe at the government for the failure on the part of it to prevent the ‘Grease Yaka’ harassing the people of Jaffna.“Other members have also raised this matter in the House. We expected the government to go into this issue and restore law and order in Jaffna. Unfortunately, this has not been done. The incidents of the Grease Yaka has increased in Jaffna and feelings are running high in the peninsula. At no time, has the government taken any steps to arrest this situation,” he said.
He said that it is the perception of people that it is a covert attempt to intimidate the people of Jaffna. “At the moment, there are 50,000 security force personnel stationed in Jaffna. 25-30 lands are within the High Security Zones. There are many checkpoints and patrolling that takes place round the clock. This is sufficient to apprehend the Grease Yaka,” he said.
However, Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said that it grossly unfair for Mr. Wickremesinghje to refer to the inability of the security forces to stop the harassment of the people in Jaffna.
“This statement has far reaching consequences. Let me remind the leader of the Opposition that it is these very security forces that liberated the people of the North including the people of Jaffna from the brutal terrorists that dominated the northern province,” he said.
He said that the law and order situation in Jaffna is normal and at a satisfactory level, and the issue of the Grease Yaka is a mythical creation of those who want to throw this country into turmoil. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)