President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to visit the North on 12, 13 and 14 October 2014, to inaugurate the resumption of the Yal Devi train service to Jaffna and participate in several people’s welfare programs.
The President’s visit is basically to fulfill some LLRC recommendations such as payment of compensation to people who sustained losses and distribution of land permits/deeds.
The government has also decided to return a stock of gold that was seized in the Northern region by security forces during the conflict period. The gold is to be returned to their owners. With the end of the conflict, the military recovered a large amount of gold from the Northern region pawned by civilians in LTTE banks.
The Tamil community traditionally and culturally favour the wearing of the precious metal, had also buried their jewellery in many places with the escalation of the conflict as they became refugees.
The President is expected to make this announcement of the return of Gold at a function to be held in Jaffna. 2300 owners have been already identified and the President is symbolically to hand over the Gold to 25 recipients.
Our inquiries reveal that the list of names of the identified individuals is available at the Security Forces Headquarters in Jaffna,Kilinochchi,Vavuniya,Mullaitivu and Mannar and any unclaimed Gold is to be handed over to the Central Bank following established procedure in this regard.
Northern Provincial Councillors , responding to an invitation to attend special meeting to discuss development of the Province and the progress of the future projects for the five districts in the Province have indicated that they will not be participating in the events held during the visit.