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Military releases northern port

Sri Lanka’s military said Tuesday it has ended its occupation of a major fishing harbour after 27 years and allowed Tamil civilians in the former war zone to take back their land.

 

Security forces withdrew from the Mayliddy harbour in the Jaffna peninsula on Monday, bowing to the long-standing demands of fishermen and their families from the minority Tamil community who have been living in camps for displaced people since June 1990.

 

“Accordingly, 187 families… are able to return to their original lands and resume their fishing livelihood after an absence of nearly 30 years,” the army said in a statement.

 

Sri Lanka’s 37-year-long Tamil separatist war ended in 2009, but government forces still maintain a large presence in the former conflict zones and keep a close watch on the local Tamil population.

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