Army to relocate Keppapilavu camp | Sunday Observer

Army to relocate Keppapilavu camp

Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Hindu Religious Affairs and Prisons Reforms, D.M. Swaminathan says that ongoing protests in front of the Keppapilavu army camp, in Mullaitivu, demanding the release of about 180 acres of private land would end soon because his Ministry had arranged for the release of Rs. 153 million to the army for their re-location.

“We are optimistic of the progress the government has achieved so far regarding the release of army-occupied lands in the North and East to their rightful owners. This is one of the major concerns of the Government and much progress has been achieved towards that commitment,” Minister Swaminathan told the Sunday Observer. Previously Rs. 5 million was paid by the Ministry for the basic re-location arrangements and later another Cabinet paper was submitted for the payment of Rs.148 million and this amount has already been released to the army through the Treasury. “The army has given an assurance to release the lands within six months. The people would continue to occupy the houses provided to them in the adjoining Keppapilavu model village constructed by the army with funding from his Ministry, as an alternative arrangement. When the land is released they could use it for agricultural purposes,” he said. When asked on the demand for early resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the Minister said that the IDPs were given temporary shelter and overall 120,000 permanent houses have to be constructed, with Cabinet approval, in three stages.