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
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
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 West
Stage III: On 09th May, 2011 - Army released
following GN Divs to civilians. Kolankaladi
Stage IV: On 06th October, 2011- Army released
following GN Divs to civilians
Stage V: On 29th November, 2011
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.