However, as many as 5,000 families are about to begin a legal battle for their land rights, said S. Sugirthan, chairman of the Valli North Pradeshiya Sabha — the local body — in Kankesanthurai, Jaffna…
According to official sources, as many as 83, 618 persons from 23,351 families in Jaffna were displaced in 1990. Most of them are in IDP camps, while a few stay with host families. A few others have migrated abroad and some are in Rameswaram.
In Jaffna District in a place called Valikamam North, more than 10,000 acres of land which belong to people are now controlled by the Army. They are not allowing the people to go back to their land. Now the Government is trying to acquire the land for the purpose of putting up new military camps. These are fertile lands. People who own these lands want their land back. This is only one example. Likewise, there are several hundreds and thousands of people in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar whose land has been forcibly occupied by the military. We feel that the military is going to permanently keep these lands for themselves…
In Sri Lanka there are 200,000 Army personnel and 150,000 are stationed in the Northern Province. That is unnecessary.
The most likely rationale for the government’s takeover of the land in the North and East is to ensure national security. But there is a lack of clarity with regard to the need for such a large extent of land at such great cost to the affected population. The government’s actions create the very problem it is meant to address.
They constitute the systematic transfer of private land from Tamils to Sinhalese, with the associated intent to permanently dismantle the Tamil economy (farming and fishing), alter irrevocably the ethnic demography of the North-East and thus further weaken Tamil political mobilisation…
International ambitions for ethnic reconciliation as the basis for the peace, would be better served by attention to the drivers of everyday insecurity, disenfranchisement and oppression, exemplified by the state’s forcible appropriation of Tamil-owned land, rather than elections to impotent local assemblies.
Recent weeks have seen a steep rise in the number of land grabs in the North and East…
These land grabs by the military, together with activities relating to colonization of the North and East are part of the attacks on the democratic rights of the Tamil People in the North and East. These attacks are clearly carried out with the active support, sanction and collusion of the Sri Lankan government. They are part of the many vain and counterproductive attempts to suppress and persecute Tamils for their political aspirations. The Tamil National Alliance has called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately cease these acts of violence directed against the Tamil People. In order to prevent a non-recurrence of the past, Sri Lanka must expeditiously commence a meaningful and genuine process of reconciliation.
Pres. Rajapaksa distributing deeds in pop-up tentPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa distributed land deeds to 3,000 farmer families in the Mahaweli L Zone under the theme of “Farmland Rights for you who give Golden Harvest to the Nation”, at a ceremony held at Sampath Nuwara Mahaweli grounds in the former conflict-affected Weli Oya on Saturday. Addressing… Read more »
It is no coincidence that the Tamil sense of justice was shaped by dissenting and nonconformist puritans of the newly emerged America…
In 1938, Tamils held 19.4% of the various government department jobs as a result of this investment in education and not because of favor from the British. This is not necessarily an outrageous percentage worthy of legislative level correction
Former Tamil MP Ponnambalam puts it simply: “I think it’s dangerous for us to think about what is possible. If we start thinking about that, it only means assimilation. We must stop talking Tamil, we must give up our religion. We must be Sinhalese and Buddhist.”
OVER AND above the geopolitics and domestic Tamil politics that directly affects India, the Sri Lankan Tamils’ story raises a disturbing question. Can the desperate and continuing plight of a people be explained away by terrorism alone? For now, more than 22 lakh Tamils within Sri Lanka and an estimated 10 lakh in the diaspora, are asking this universally perplexing question. As their story also serves as a warning to other displaced people without a nation — while the world and the UN plays a double game, your idea of nationhood could be the next to disappear.
But even in the aftermath of the terror and genocide, the Tamil idea of nationhood has not disappeared. If India does not want another cycle of violence at its doorstep, it cannot afford to be indifferent to the voices of the Lankan Tamils.
Many among the Eelam Tamils continue to fall for the “China card” claims of Sri Lanka. These claims serve, however, as a smokescreen for the realpolitik of the region vis-a-vis Sri Lanka. A critical analysis of this is helpful for Eelam Tamils to develop a more nuanced approach. China is of no help to Sri… Read more »
Commentary on Accelerated Programme on Solving Post Conflict Land Issues in the Northern and Eastern Provinces In January 2013 the Government issued a new circular titled Accelerated Programme on Solving Post Conflict State Lands Issues in the Northern and Eastern Provinces- Land Circular 2013/01 (herein referred to as the Circular), which is the most recent… Read more »
Sri Lanka has long had a problem with disappearances. Accordingly, the LLRC sought to address this issue in its final report, which includes the following two recommendations:
Recommendation 9.46: Investigate allegations of abductions, enforced or involuntary disappearance; bring perpetrators to justice.
Recommendation 9.51: “…the Commission recommends that a Special Commissioner of Investigation be appointed to investigate alleged disappearances and provide material to the Attorney General to initiate criminal proceedings where appropriate.”
Yet the GoSL’s record on disappearances continues to be a concern. Appallingly, 25% of TSA survey respondents have had a family member disappear. And that individual was usually the principal incomer earner of the family.
The government’s talk about a military drawdown lacks merit, especially in the Northern Province. “We are living under military occupation,” notes one community member living near Jaffna. Even though several checkpoints have been removed, a large number of them have been converted into shops – such as grocery stores and cafés – that are run by the military. The ubiquity of military personnel does not leave people feeling safer; ordinary citizens feel more vulnerable and the country’s continued militarization has contributed to a host of widespread social problems including alcohol abuse, sexual violence and rape.
“The fisheries sector is the third most important contributor to economic growth in Sri Lanka. It is second only to agriculture and tourism. That is the main reason the President wanted to kick off this project. According to the ongoing investment and development projects in the industry in post- terrorism Sri Lanka, the fisheries industry will become the main contributor to the economy within the next few years. I hope to provide a 50 percent contribution to Sri Lanka’s economy at the end of this year by doubling fish exports” Minister Senaratne said.
Many of those displaced during the war are now gradually being resettled at their original residences by the Vanni security forces headquarters. Residents are pictured acclimatizing themselves to their old abodes and environment after a lapse of several years. Pix by Romesh Madushanka
Women-headed families: no husband, no home and no future for their children In the Eastern Province, some women head their household all alone without a job, sometimes without a home, or without doors and sanitary facilities, unable to send their children to school. Their husbands died in war or disappeared into the hands of police…. Read more »
Seasoned Washington observers say not to freak out because they think there will be no deadlock, as lawmakers will be thinking about their own fate first, if blocking a deal leads to the collapse of the economy that leaves people suffering, and it rebounds on them at re-election time.