செவ்வாய், 16 ஆகஸ்ட், 2016

Uprooted Tamils in Ki’linochchi step up protest against SL military occupation of lands

Uprooted Tamils in Ki’linochchi step up protest against SL military occupation of lands

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 August 2016, 21:55 GMT]
Uprooted Tamil families from Paravip-paagnchchaan, a fertile suburb situated in the heart of Ki’linochchi town, have been protesting in front of the cantonment of occupying SL military’s 58 Division since Saturday. The protest comes a week after SL Defence Secretary visiting the site and the SL military is scheming permanent seizure of the lands. The families said they decided to launch round-the-clock protest as their earlier protests were completely ignored by the SL regime in Colombo. In the meantime, Sinhala Army soldiers have been harassing the news reporters who went to cover the peaceful protest Sunday night. 62 families are demanding resettlement in the 23 acres of lands seized by the SL military at Paravip-paagnchaan.



Tamil leader Sir Pon Ramanathan had initiated the settlement of Tamils in early 1900s at Paravip-paangchaan and most of the lands at the suburb of Ki'linochchi town belong to private land owners.

During the Norwegian-brokered Ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka, the Tigers were maintaining their political offices, including the Peace Secretariat, Political Head Office and the office of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) at Paravip-paangchaan.

After 2009, the SL military was refusing to hand over the entire area back to its owners citing that the lands were used by the LTTE.

Only 20 acres were later released back to the land owners while the SL military was attempting to permanently seize the remaining 23 acres.

In August 2014, SL military wanted to consolidate its ‘ownership’ of the seized lands and the Rajapaksa regime went to the extent of issuing a Gazette notice to ‘legalise’ the appropriation of 7 acres of these private lands.

SL military is still keeping 3,705 acres of lands for its military cantonments in Ki’linochchi district. Of these, 229.5 acres are lands that belong to private owners, according to Tamil civil sources at Ki’linochchi District Secretariat.

In the meantime, Tamil officials at Karaichchi DS division said SL military is illegally occupying 231 acres of lands in the division alone.