Staggering 10% of lands in Mullaiththeevu militarised

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 May 2018, 23:57 GMT]
The ratio of the occupying Sinhala military personnel per Tamil civilians in the district of Mullaiththeevu is at one Sinhala soldier per two civilians as revealed earlier by Tamil politicians in the area. But, the extent of lands transformed into ‘Sinhala Military Zones’ have been systematically underreported, and the real size stands at 10% of the total land-area of the district, a highly placed source at the District Secretariat of Mullaiththeevu told TamilNet this week.

All the official figures issued so far by the District Secretariat, the NPC and the NGOs have been based on false and manipulated data, which were coming from the sources placed under the administrative system of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka.

A fresh initiative, if appropriately launched by the elected Northern Provincial Council, would reveal the truth, the source further claimed.

The source also said that the District Secretariat was under pressure to reveal only 25% of the total military zones as military occupied lands to avoid embarrassment from the human rights community.

Since most of the militarised zones are beyond physical access to civil sources and a major portion of these lands come under the domain of the SL Forest Department, it has been difficult to independently establish the real scale of the militarisation of lands in the district.

Forest lands constitute around 60% of the total land in the district. There are at least five major military bases situated in these forest lands, and none of the lands coming under these military bases was being cited properly in the reports that have been issued so far, the source further said.

Therefore, the statistics being used by many sources are misguiding and downplaying the truth, the source further said.

While the official figures from the District Secretariat are said to be at 25% lower than the real figures, the SL Ministry of Resettlement has come up with a ridiculously low value of 1,150 acres as being held by the SL military in the entire district.

In fact, around 60,000 acres of the total 596,000 acres have been militarised by the occupying SL Army, Navy, Air Force and the SL Police, the source said.

In the meantime, the so-called Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, which is led by former SL President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike, was putting the figure six times lower than the actual extent, the source further said.

According to the ONUR figures, 9,148 acres of lands were under the SL military. The ONUR was listing 6,934 acres of public lands and 540 acres of private lands as being held by the SLA while the SL Air Force was only referred as keeping 1,169 acres of which 958 were public lands, and only 211 acres were private lands. The SL Navy, according to ONUR, was only having 715 acres. These are all distorted figures the civil source told TamilNet.

The reality is seven times higher than what the ONUR was claiming, the source further said urging the grassroots to exert pressure on the NPC being elected for the next term to conduct a proper estimate without relying upon the figures coming from the District Secretariat and the Divisional Secretariat officials.



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