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Myliddy harbour and lands released after 27 years of military occupation

Photographs: Tamil Guardian

The Myliddy harbour, which at one time accommodated almost a third of Sri Lanka’s fishing trade, and 54 acres of surrounding land on Jaffna peninsula were released today after 27 years of military occupation.

Land release event with Jaffna commander Major Gen. Hettiarachchi and TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran

Around 50 families have registered with the Tellipalai Divisional Secretariat to resettle in the lands released today.

While residents were eager to step into and see their lands after having no access for 27 years, they noted that none of their properties were in immediately habitable conditions.

Houses, buildings and infrastructure in the lands were mostly demolished, with valuable furniture, tiles and construction materials missing from most properties.

Community spaces such as the local Kovil and its chariot were also discovered in a state of ruin and disrepair.

Many found camps and permanent Buddhist viharas had been constructed in their lands.

Facilities such as football pitches and basketball courts could be seen in the yet unreleased sections.

Fishermen also complained that since the Myliddy main road had not been opened to the public, they would have to take a much longer route - up to 40km longer - to reach the harbour

A release function, accompanied by a high military and security presence, was attended by Jaffna commander Major Gen. Darshana Hettiarachchi, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran and other NPC and local administrative members.