Kanchirankudah displaced left to fend for themselves by GoSL, NGOs

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 September 2003, 04:34 GMT]
The displaced people of Kanchirankudah in the Amparai district are resettling in the village, but neither the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) nor any Non Governmental Organization has come forward to provide support for their basic needs, Human Rights activists say.

When the second stage of the war started in 1990, Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force created a camp in the village, taking over the homes of many villagers in the process. The STF camp is still operating in the village. Following the camp’s creation, the people of the village sought refuge in Vinayakapuram and Thirukovil.

Last year, when the villagers protested the harassment they faced from the STF and the attack by the STF on a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the STF at this camp fired at the people, killing 7 of them.

Even though the camp is still there, 116 families are prepared to resettle in the surrounding areas. But they need support with housing and basic needs, and no such support has been forthcoming from the GoSL or NGOs, the families have complained to the Eastern regional coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Mr. R. Manoharan, when he visited the village Tuesday.

Mr. Manoharan said that he has informed senior officials of the HRC about the plight of the villagers.

“We fled the village in 1990 leaving everything behind and we are returning now with nothing with the goal of resettling in our village. But no one has come forward to help us resettle,” lamented Mr. Sinnathamby Nallasekaram, a Kanchirankudah villager. He said that a finished cadjan cost Rs.12 and an unfinished cadjan cost Rs. 8, and at that rate, the villagers could not afford to construct cadjan roofs for their huts. “Many in the village are taking shelter under trees,” he said.

As the people continue to want to resettle in their lands, the need is felt acutely for the GoSL or NGOs to assist the villagers with their basic needs, the human rights activists said.


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