2 decades of displacement continues for Valikaamam residents
[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 June 2009, 13:22 GMT]
Residents of Valikaamam North in Jaffna peninsula, evicted from their traditional villages on 15 June 1990 due to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensive and occupation of their villages, continue to languish in refugee camps and other places for the last twenty years, sources in Jaffna said. Despite Colombo Supreme Court directive to allow resettlement in the SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) areas in Valikaamam North, SLA authorities in Jaffna have not permitted anyone to return to their homes and properties until now, the sources added.
Before the eviction by SLA there were 91,394 persons of 21,907 families living in 45 Village Officers area in Valikaamam North.
Altogether 75,030 persons of 18,632 families were forcibly evicted by the SLA which converted their traditional villages into HSZs.
Of these 62, 925 persons of 12,585 families continue to languish in 77 refugee camps in Jaffna peninsula since June 1990 while the rest are with their relatives and other places, according to Jaffna Secretariat statistics.
58.65 sq. miles or 61,160 hectares in Jaffna peninsula have been declared HSZ and occupied by SLA.
Though Sri Lanka government had made much publicity of resettling Valikaamam North displaced persons in their traditional villages SLA authorities had persistently refused to permit resettlement despite Colombo Supreme Court directives following a petition filed by the Internally Displaced Persons of Valikaamam North.
Furthermore, SLA has stopped all demining activities in Valikaamam North.
The statistics of Jaffna Secretariat, however, do not include the persons who had left Jaffna peninsula from the above areas due to SLA offensives.
On the whole, 90,524 persons of 25,920 families in Vadamaraadchi, Valikaamam and Thenmaraadchi areas in Jaffna peninsula displaced from their traditional villages continue to languish in refugee camps and other places since 1990 June.