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Military-occupied land will ‘never’ be returned states Sri Lankan minister

Sri Lanka’s State Minister Sarath Weerasekara told parliament that military-occupied land in the North-East will “never” be given back to the people, blaming Tamil politicians with “separatist agendas” as the reason for continued military control of these areas.

Weerasekara, who was formerly the Rear Admiral for Sri Lanka’s Navy and is a known supporter of the Rajapaksas, claimed that areas under military occupation “are grounds of tactical importance”.

“As long as people such as Wigneswaran who promotes separatism are there, it will never be given in view of national security as it is directly related to the national economy,” he added.

The Sri Lankan minister also responded to reports that Sinhala Buddhist monks have been facilitating land grabs in the North-East under the guise of archaeology by claiming, “Buddhist monks are not vestiges of invaders”. 

“They are part of this society and have all the right to protect our Sinhala Buddhist heritage,” he added.

Weerasekara recently came out in support of recent moves to abolish the 19th amendment and has made alarming comments about civil society activists that he believes should be charged with treason and sentenced to death

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