Head of the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Agnes Asekenye-Oonyu, visited Jaffna accompanied by the deputy head of the mission, Mark Prasopa-Plaizier where she discussed the land issue with Security Forces Commander, Jaffna, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe.
Jaffna Commander had explained the circumstances under which land had been acquired for post-war development encompassing Palaly and Kankesanthurai. The acquisition of some land in the Valigamam north was necessary to expand the Palaly airport as well as the Kankesanthurai harbour, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe told the visiting delegation.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has repeatedly accused the government of taking over land in the Jaffna peninsula. Recently, a UNP delegation, led by its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, visited Palaly to examine the grievances of Tamil speaking people.
The Jaffna Commander said a section of the media, at the behest of certain interested parties, had been propagating lies to discredit the country. He explained the need for positioning troops within the Palaly-Kankesanthurai sector to face any eventuality.
Commenting on the ongoing resettlement programme in the Jaffna peninsula, the Jaffna Commander said that those displaced due to the acquisition of their land would be settled along the Jaffna coast. They would be adequately compensated, he said.
The visiting delegation was also briefed on the current deployment of troops in the peninsula and gradual decrease of the military presence since the conclusion of the conflict.