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Army To Vacate Private Lands In The North

Sep 3, 2010 12:03:43 AM - thesundayleader.lk

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said the Sri Lankan government has assured that the army will return the land of the displaced Tamils in the country’s northern Vavuniya district, Indian media reports stated.

The Times of India has stated that Rao after concluding her three-day trip to Sri Lanka on Thursday (2) had said she had taken up the issue with the top leadership in the country.

“So we have taken it up with the Sri Lankan government. I took it up with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa also. He has assured me that he is already looking into this matter. And he expects that it will be resolved and that these people go back,” Rao has been quoted as telling reporters on Thursday.

“They are basically IDPs of Indian origin who had been resettled in Vavuniya area after 1977 riots. They had been cultivating their lands there and now after the war they had been shifted to the Menik farm IDP camp,” the foreign secretary has said.

“There are about 150 families (around 1,000 people). They are facing some difficulties in returning. They said they had not been able to return to their areas of habitation.”

The report states that she has said the army has apparently not cleared or released that land to them because after the war had ended the military had moved into these areas.

During her visit, Rao travelled to Vavuniya, Menik Farm (in Vavuniya) Chettikulam, Killinochchi, Omanthai, Jaffna Mullativu and Trincomalee to have a first hand knowledge of the rehabilitation process in the country.