Forced land grab by Sri Lankan government
United opposition campaign launched
The Sri Lankan army has bent on an aggresive forcible land-grabbing spree in theNorthern Provinceof the island. This has resulted in Tamil people, who are displaced due to war and resettled recently in their traditional lands, now facing the threat of becoming refugees again.
There are clear echoes of the settlement of Palestinian lands by the Israeli state in this development. But a historic united protest campaign has been launched to challenge this move by a dictatorial government.
It is reported that the army has ordered a number of families, who returned to their original lands in the Kilinochchi area from the Manik Farm refugee camp, to vacate their land and settle elsewhere. According to army plans the Sri Lankan government is planning to build houses for the army in these valuable lands. If the people are unwilling to obey army orders then they would be sent back to the refugee camps.
A joint protest campaign, involving people from the south ofSri Lanka, has been launched against this forcible land robbery in the North.
It is planned that this campaign, which started inJaffnaand Thilippalai in the last week, will be conducted in all parts of the North. Despite government threats and intimidation a successful picket was held on 26 June in the Murugandy kovil grounds in Kilinochchi. The day before the protest Sri Lankan army personnel threatened people, demanding they not participate in the protest.
A number of MPs from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), including Mavai Senadirajah, Suresh premachandran and Sridharan, Mano Ganeshan of the Democratic People’s Front and Siritunga Jayasuriya of the United Socialist Party (USP) and some representatives of the NSSP were in attendance.