Thenmaradchi farmers riled by SLA's new restrictions

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 August 2003, 21:27 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Friday directed the farmers and agricultural workers in the Thenmaradchi division in the Jaffna district to produce new identity cards if they wanted to enter paddy lands that were released recently from the high security zones for rain-fed paddy cultivation this year. The directive will cause several hardships and delays to the farming community in cultivating their fields in time before the proper northeast monsoon rain starts, civil sources said.

The SLA has further directed that military identity cards will be issued to each farmer and agricultural labourer on the production of a photograph attested by the Grama Sevaka officer of the respective division and the authority letter of the Kaithady Agrarian Service Centre, sources said

The SLA brought about five thousand acres of paddy fields in Thenmaradchi south, Maravanpulo, Thanankilappu, Kovilakandy and Kaithady-Navatkuli areas under high security zones following the 1999 military operation. However, due to continuous pressure by the farmers' organizations, the SLA authorities last week released about 1000 acres of paddy fields to the owners to do rain-fed paddy cultivation this year.

The farmers have protested the SLA's new demand for additional identity cards, saying that the SLA is laying down additional restrictions right on the heels of their hard-won right to cultivate their paddy lands, only a portion of which has been released by the SLA, sources in Thenmaradchi said.


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31.07.03   SLA releases a fifth of the paddy fields in Thenmaradchi HSZ

 

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