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HSZ dismantled as Jaffna booms with commercial activities

HSZ dismantled as Jaffna booms with commercial activities

It was quiet recently some foreign west based entities opened a can of worms, nagging the government to reduce the presence of security forces in the North. Surely, these individuals lacked some reasonable ground knowledge of the development taking place and certainly taken a leaf from the 'Eelam' terror propagandists.

The necessity of Sri Lanka as a nation engulfed in a three decade long war to secure and safe guard the freedom of its citizens were the fundamental objectives in which the HSZ were established and presence of military increased in the North.

Since, the military defeat of the brutal terrorist outfit LTTE in 2009, there has been leaps of development initiatives in the North. The decisions were taken at dismantling the declared HSZ in the Northern Province and handing over acquired land to its proper owners.

With the dismantling initiative of High Security Zones in Northern Province the government has released 3741.09 acres, from the land area, earlier declared as the Jaffna High Security Zone (HSZ). According to latest statistics available, an area of 6381 acres has been renounced as cantonment areas as similarly to what exists in other provinces of Sri Lanka.

Defence observers are of the view, that the increased numbers of fishing poachers in the waters off Maathakal, Kankasanthurai, Point -Pedro and Kayts, Kachchathivu and Delft islets has prompted the necessity in maintaining a strategic security presence in the peninsula.

The bitter fact is that negligence at implementing such proactive strategic-security would provide fuel to destabilizing forces of both geo-political interests of Sri Lanka and India. Contemporary history on the island's terrorist scourge would provide a lesson to the dark chapter that prevailed.

Contrary to what the overseas proxy-terror agencies and its local political mouth pieces clamor, the earlier declared Jaffna District High Security Zone (HSZ) has been released in five stages since 28th October, 2010. The military presence remains in only a portion which has been turned into cantonments, the official report released states.

Stage I: On 28th October, 2010 - Army released apportion of Vasavilan.

Stage II: On 27th November, 2010 - Army released following Grama Niladhari Divisions (GN Divs) to civilians

  • Ilavali North

  • Ilavali North West

  • Viththakapuram

Stage III: On 09th May, 2011 - Army released following GN Divs to civilians. Kolankaladi

  • Naguleshwaram

  • Thelippalai

  • Thanneiselvapuram

  • Maveddipuram

  • Maveddipuram South

  • Palaivikaman North

  • Palaivikaman South

  • Kadduvan West

Stage IV: On 06th October, 2011- Army released following GN Divs to civilians

  • Kurumpasiddy

  • Kurumpasiddy East

Stage V: On 29th November, 2011

  • Valalai

  • Ideikadu

In addition, the Cabinet on 01st June, 2012 has approved a Prescription (special provisions) Act providing absentee land and property owners in the once war ravaged north and east to reclaim ownership. Any person who has become displaced or disadvantaged at any time during the period starting May 01, 1983 and ending December 31, 2012 shall be deemed, for the purpose of the new law, to be a displaced or disadvantaged person.

Indeed the Government's reconciliation process is facing serious challenges partly due to external interventions by countries that have perused a diplomatic crusade to whim individual interests upon the island nation. Yet, all kudos to the government that has been stringently focused not to giveaway the much won peace to such pressure, including a few hard-line elements that are hell bent in a belief of reincarnation of a mono-ethnic, separatist spree of violence.

Meanwhile, the security forces and the government are continuing with its demining efforts in the North, as the Northern Governor Chandrasiri was quoted by press last week stating that over 95% of mine fields have been cleared off from the peninsula.

Defence officials also denied the misinformation salvo by LTTE remnant groups harping 'Nazi type': military occupation, land grab, forced demographic changes and occupation of coastal villages for strategic purposes. All such lobbying of extremist fundamentalism by the terror proxies are shades of a protracted programme at isolating the Sri Lankan reconciliation process and distancing away the radars of international media, rights groups and foreign government agencies from the ground realities of rapid progress of resettlement, demining and rehabilitation in the North and East, he further stated.

The latest report also highlights a drastic reduction of military piquet, sentry points and road blocks in the provinces, once the infamous battlegrounds of a three decade prolonged war.

At the inception HSZ in the Jaffna district was declared for strategic purposes, securing the most vulnerable routes assessed as vital in maintaining the life line and logistics of the peninsula at the time of heightened attacks from LTTE terrorists. The LTTE during its violent existence of three decades has launched waves of armed assaults and indiscriminate artillery barrages at Palaly, Point-Pedro, KKS and Jaffna aimed at disrupting logistics, medical provisions, civil welfare and military reinforcements. At the same time the terrorists believed in starving civilians in the peninsula- a gruesome hypothetical tactic at creating a humanitarian catastrophe in Jaffna, also stirring international intervention.

The Jaffna-Kandy road (A-9) was forcibly occupied and destroyed by the terrorists- the only accessible land route to the peninsula. Terrorists provided with defacto- status quo, through the Norwegian facilitated CFA, signed between Ranil Wickramasinghe & Pribaharan only allowed a few Lorries to carry government provisions for civilians under the Red-Cross supervision. This was not a practical mean as terrorists were notorious looting the civilian provisions and medical supplies for its own cadres. Hence, maintaining the Jaffna HSZ was paramount during the war as the Kankasanthurai(KKS) port and the Palaly airfield remained the twin gateways at continuing with uninterrupted logistics and medical supplies to the peninsula.

At present both the KKS harbor and the Palaly airfield which covers a large area within the remaining cantonment area are buzzing with increased civilian commercial activities. Meanwhile, giving lie to cynical propaganda efforts, the military has renounced that nearly 50,000 troops deployed in the Jaffna peninsula since 2007 has been reduced to 15,000 to date.

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