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Northern Homes Will Not be Returned At Cost Of National Security

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Sunday, 27 February 2011 09:45 No Comment]

Claims made by people whose homes remain in the hands of security forces in the North will be considered, but properties will be returned only if doing so will not hinder national security, said Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella.

“Primarily, national security will have to be considered. It is the case in any country,” he said.

In parliament last week, the TNA raised the issue of many private properties in the North being held by the security forces. Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena in response to this stated that while a total of 1,205 properties were indeed being used by the forces, these could not be returned yet as they were within High Security Zones (HSZs).  Meanwhile, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told The Sunday Leader that during the war, “81,000 people were ousted from their houses because they fall within the area that is loosely known as the Palaly High Security Zone.”

He said that there had been several efforts made by the people themselves to reclaim these properties, and while some had been reclaimed, others are still unaware as to when they would get their homes back.  “They (the government) say that these properties are inside the High Security Zones, but legally there is no High Security Zone,” said Sumanthiran, who had brought up this point in parliament last week too. Responding to questions on whether people who had lost their homes had been compensated, Defence Spokesperson Rambukwella said,

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