Ex Tiger farms cultivated:
Army helps Govt save over Rs. 3 billion
The Sri Lanka Army has helped the Government to save over Rs. 3
billion by undertaking various development projects by contributing its
expertise to develop the country in the post conflict era.
Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said the well-trained
soldiers were engaged in different development activities and the main
objective of the peacetime Army is to be a part of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa’s vision - to make Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia. “Among the
projects launched are national building projects such as construction of
bridges, and pre-fabricated buildings, humanitarian de-mining and
renovation of houses.
The Army has helped the Government save over one billion rupees in
de-mining and Rs. 56 million by renovating houses” he said, adding that
if these had been given to the private sector, the Government would have
incurred massive expenditure.
He said the SLA does not want to maintain a force of over 200,000 in
the barracks but need to ensure their contribution to develop the
According to the Army Chief, the SLA took over the major farms
belonging to the LTTE in the North.
The former LTTE farms - Udayakattukulam, (fruits), Vellankulam
(banana) and Kajuwatta in Nachchikuda- have now been developed with
infrastructure and are run by soldiers.
“We are reaping the harvest in Udayakattukulam. It produces quality
oranges and we have plans to export the vegetables and fruits grown in
these farms,” he said.
The Army is now exploring the possibility of export-oriented
partnerships with the private sector to grow vegetables and fruits in
When asked about handing over public and private properties, occupied
by the Army in the North, Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said that the High
Security Zone demarcations in Jaffna have been finalised and will be
He said the main problem in Jaffna was handing over public and
private properties due to the scarcity of land in the peninsula. “But we
are in the process of handing over the properties to people as we are
constructing a permanent Army camp in Kopay,” he said. The Army camp at
the Gnanam Hotel in Jaffna has already been vacated and Hotel Subash
will be handed over to its owners soon.