Over 18,000 acres of northern land returned

Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Since the end of conflict in May 2009 the security forces have returned over about 18,000 acres of land back to their owners in the North. These lands were returned in stages within the past five years, said Media Centre Director/Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya during the weekly press briefing held yesterday (6 June). Since 2009 18,044 acres of land in Jaffna have been released to the civilians. In 2009, 4379 acres were released while 6452 acres, 5817 acres, 785 acres and 410 acres were released to the civilians in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. So far 201 acres of land have been handed back to civil owners this year alone. While steps are being taken to remove the camp at Nunawil in Chavakatcheri within the next couple of months the one at Atchuweli will not be removed he further clarified. The land thus released will be handed over to the original owners. He also said that the former LTTE camp, ‘Dikkam’ in the coast of Point Pedro will not be handed back. The security forces do not in any instance occupy private land by force in any part of the country, and it does not unnecessarily hold any land or set up camps. Camps are established or removed only based on national security concerns and requirements. Decisions on such issues are not made on an ad hoc manner but are taken only after detailed study and discussion, Brigadier added. Hence it was observed that the camp at Nunawil is no further required and decision was made to remove it three months ago. The personnel in that camp will occupy new facilities presently being built at another camp. Security in the Atchuweli area remains to be continued and the presence of a security forces camp is required in this area he further said. Commenting on the Dikkam camp he said, the land on which this former Sea Tiger base was built does not belong to private individuals but is a crown land.