Feature Article

Resettlement of uprooted civilians remains rejected in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 May 2010, 11:05 GMT]
The civilians uprooted from Valikaamam in Vadamaraadchi by occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) converting their lands into High Security Zone (HSZ) 20 years ago have lost all hopes despite repeated promises and announcements made by government ministers, officials and Jaffna SLA Commander as SLA authorities continue to deny permission for resettlement, according to A.C. Nadarajah, one of nearly a hundred thousand uprooted persons in Jaffna peninsula. Mr. Nadarajah, a former principal, social activist and the present manager of ‘Yarl Thinakural’ in Jaffna, leads one of the welfare organizations for uprooted civilians in Jaffna peninsula. "It is obvious that the main reason for this predicament is the adamancy of the SLA to vacate the lands and properties confiscated from thousands of families in Jaffna peninsula," Mr. Nadarajah told journalists in Jaffna.

As a last course of action in the face of broken promises Nadarajah and his fellow activists are to gather in Thellippazhai Monday to seek a final decision in the issue of resettlement where they expect the newly elected Jaffna parliamentarians and government authorities including ministers to be present.

Jaffna GA, K. Ganesh, however, is attempting to block the above gathering by refusing permission for the Monday meeting to which a hundred uprooted civilians have been invited to take part, Nadarajah said.

During the recent Sri Lankan presidential and parliamentary elections, the hopes of uprooted had been kept raised by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brother and advisor Basil Rajapaksa, SL Minister Douglas Devananda, Northern Province Governor Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri and the Government Agent (GA) for Jaffna K. Ganesh with promises of speedy resettlement in their properties that they were thrown out from by the SLA.

A special committee including Jaffna High Court judge, GA and Jaffna SLA Commander was set up according to the directive of the Colombo Supreme Court to expedite resettlement of Valikaamam North residents by SLA, in their own lands.

But this special committee has done nothing so far to resettle the uprooted civilians.

Meanwhile, SLA authorities and key government officials had informed the uprooted civilians that they will be allowed to resettle in twenty-five villages in the first stage.

Three weeks ago, Jaffna GA had announced that only ten villages have been earmarked for resettlement.

Local media, believing these announcements, had published the news raising the hopes of the uprooted civilians.

But, so far not a single uprooted civilian has been allowed to resettle anywhere, Nadrajah further said.

It is obvious that the main reason for this predicament is the adamancy of SLA to hand over the lands and properties confiscated from thousands of families in Jaffna peninsula, Nadarajah told the journalists in Jaffna.

Nadarajah, one among the many uprooted, who expected the promises of the above persons of authority to be fulfilled, is disappointed and frustrated being repeatedly refused entry to his own properties in Valikaamam North by the SLA. He has been addressing the issues of the displaced and uprooted since 1987 when he played a lead role in the resettlement of the people of his own village, Kurumpasiddi.

Evicted by the SLA twenty years ago, Mr. Nadarajah continues to live with his friend who had offered him shelter in Urumpiraay.


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