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Monday, January 28, 2013 - 05.59 GMT

US delegation visit Jaffna


The visiting top level US delegation on Sunday visited Jaffna and held talks with Security Forces Commander-Jaffna Maj.Gen. M.Hathurusinghe.

“The delegation was briefed on present situation in Jaffna in terms of security, economic development, rehabilitation and resettlement and social harmony during the meeting,” the Army said.

Speaking during the discussion, Maj.Gen.Hathurusinghe told the delegation that the Army has reduced the strength of troops in Jaffna in large numbers since 2009.

“Army does not involve in civil administration at all and the government mechanism similar to the South is very much in place with all responsibilities discharged by them. With regard to the Army, plans are under way to reduce more troops in consultation with higher Headquarters in the near future”, the SF Commander explained.

Commenting on de-mining and resettlement in the peninsula, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe said less that 3% of the land is yet to be de-mined. It was further said that many blocks of lands, though months have passed after they were de-mined and released, are still not resettled since their owners presently living overseas do not want to return.

The 10 member delegation comprising US Ambassador in Colombo Ms Michele J Sison, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and South Asia Wikram Singh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Ms. Jane B. Zinnerman and other diplomatic Officials later visited several places in the Jaffna peninsula before departure for Colombo, the army added.

During their seven-day visit to Sri Lanka and Maldives, the delegation led by James Moore will meet with senior Sri Lankan officials, members of various political parties as well as civil society to discuss a wide range of issues, including progress in implementing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission recommendations and National Action Plan, the U.S. State Department said.






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Last modified: January 28, 2013.

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