Army assures protection to Jaffna business community


Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Sunday (May 8) assured the Jaffna business community that the government wouldn’t allow extortionists to target them.

Addressing a cross section of businessmen at the Catholic Press Hall, the senior most officer in the peninsula urged them to get in touch with the nearest army camp or with him if they faced threats from any group or individual. The Maj. Gen. said:"Don’t hesitate to contact us as we are here to protect you. We’ll not allow anyone to interfere with your business."

Hathurusinghe emphasized that no one should give in to extortionists in the wake of restoration of peace. The meeting was arranged to discuss ways and means to enhance security following several attempts to extort money from businessmen over the past six months.

The government would support the business community. The expansion of the airstrip at Palaly with the Indian assistance and the opening of harbour at Kankenanthurai for commercial activities would be major boost for the economy not only for Jaffna but the entire country as well.

Since the conclusion of the conflict, the military had thrown its weight behind the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction programme, the Jaffna Army Chief said. On the directions received from Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the army had removed all barriers between Jaffna and Elephant Pass, he said, reiterating the commitment on the part of the armed forces to protect civilian life.

General Officer Commanding 51 Division Maj. Gen. Janaka Walgama, President Chamber of Commerce Rathnalingam Jayasekaram, Vice President P. Nagaratnam and Treasurer R. Jeyarajah participated at the meeting. (SF)

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