Villages in Maanthai West unable to grapple with structural genocide

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 December 2016, 23:47 GMT]
People of Eechchai-a’lavakkai and Channaar vilaages in Maanthai West of Mannaar district have been facing immense difficulties due to the existence of a training base, so-called “Commando Regiment Special Warfare Training Camp” of the occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka after 2009. The SL military has seized more than 3,000 acres of the most fertile lands that were once popular for agricultural produce, especially dried chilli. The military is also occupying the Channaar tank, blocking the resettled people from sustaining their livelihood of freshwater fishing. The people are deprived of cattle herding as pastureland is completely occupied by the SL military. Even the cemetery of the two villages is under SL military zone and people have to seek permission to bury or cremate their dead.

On top of this, the people of Eechchai-a’lavakkai, who survived Mu’l’livaaykkaal genocide continue to live under consistent gunfire and bombardments taking place in the training camp in their residential area.

55-year-old Margarat Croos, a mother of three, who attended a meeting organised by social activists told TamilNet that the villagers were facing all forms of structural genocide. The meeting was titled “Transitional Justice and its failures in Sri Lanka”. Social and rural activists from Maanthai West and Madu divisions took part in the meeting that took place at YMCA building situated on Hospital Road in Mannaar.



Meeting held by Mannaar district social welfare activists on Friday in Mannaar
Meeting held by Mannaar district social welfare activists on Friday in Mannaar
200 families have managed to resettle in Channaar and around 50 families have resettled in Eechchai-a’lavakkai village. Almost all the families are survivors of Mu’l’livaaykkaal genocide and many of them have lost at least one of their family members in the war.

Channaar and Eechai-a’lavakkai are situated 6 km from Pa’l’la-madu Junction on the road connecting Periya-madu with Mannaar-Jaffna Road.

Kaayaa-nakar GS division comprises the three villages of Eechchai-I’lavakkai, Kaayaa-nakar and Karadip-pooval.

The village was once thriving with agriculture, cattle-farming and freshwater fishing. Even during the times of war, the villagers were self-sustained on most produce. Today, the people are unable to resume their livelihoods.

The military training camp is a major hurdle to everything and all, Mrs Margarat Croos told TamilNet.

Potable water scarcity is also a big problem in the area, she said.

Apart from these, a systematic exploitation of natural resources including sand-scooping and logging of trees are being carried out by military backed traders from South in Maanthai West division, those who attended the meeting complained.


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