Government troops in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged Northern Jaffna district are caught in a cleft stick between security concerns and demands from Internally Displaced People (IDPs) for the return of their homes. While about 14,000 families from the minority Tamil community have still to get their lands and houses back, last weekend, the army gave back nearly 70 houses to IDPs. Significantly, this action forced the military to pull back its Forward Defense Locality (FDL) in the strategically important Chavakachcheri division, by 400 meters. A few days later, on February 11, the army moved to bring the FDL back to the original border, encompassing the released houses, only to be stopped by IDPs who had just got their homes back. This has created a piquant situation, with a senior military analyst confessing that, “The army is in a dilemma. Apparently, it pulled back from the FDL without a proper reconnaissance.” Full Story
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