Feature Article

Mayiliddi people will not succumb to SL military resettlement farce: Subramaniyam

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 July 2017, 13:07 GMT]
It doesn't matter which regime was in power in Colombo. But, it was a Colombo government that created the mind-set in the ranks of SL military that in turn of war victories, it was ‘rewarded’ with all kinds of abuse of power such as raping Tamil women and seizing the lands of Eezham Tamils. This mindset still prevails in the ranks of the SL military and is the main attitude also behind the deceptive ‘resettlement’ farce in Valikaamam North, says Suntharam Subramaniam, the chairman of Mayiliddi Uprooted Peoples’ Organisation. The 58-year-old father of four, who resides in the so-called welfare camp at Koa'nappulam in Mallaakam in Jaffna, systematically deconstructs the destructive trends of the military-led, international community abetted and ITAK-contained resettlement farce in a video interview to TamilNet.

As a society leader representing the poverty-stricken working class from Mayiliddi in Valikaamam North, Mr Subramaniam also described the attitude of many Tamil diaspora foreign ‘card holders’ visiting their homeland behaving as a ‘landlord class’ that either fences off the lands or sells it and donates the money to a temple while the sky-rocketing land prices have rendered the poverty-stricken, daily wage workers among the uprooted people who have no ‘European connection’ to continue to languish.

The ‘landlord class’ also survived through the times of the war by sending their children to Europe by precisely subjecting their lands as bonds to the LTTE, Mr Subramaniyam, who has sacrificed his son in the Tamil war for independence, said.

Finally, Independence didn't arrive despite our sacrifices; Tamils have lost even what we had before the war in terms of our lands and properties; and we have been abandoned by the so-called international community that interfered in the process of our liberation proposing compromise and giving hopes of solutions. Where do we find ourselves now? We have now been stranded at the middle of the road to nowhere, he said.

Due to the abandonment by the international community, the containment attitude of the materialistic-minded Tamil politicians, ignorant Tamil civil officials serving the interests of the SL State displaying inhumane attitude, the poverty-stricken Eezham Tamils uprooted from Valikaamam North have been brought to a situation where the only alternative left was to consider the offer coming through the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena and his occupying military, he said.

“What we demand is a reasonable compensation.”

After being deceived by repeated eyewash release of land pockets while the SL military is attempting to buy the lands or make the people to choose housing schemes outside their native villages, the uprooted people of Mayiliddi are now considering to intensify their agitation, the chairman of uprooted people of Mayiliddi said.

“While occupying our fertile lands and properties in Valikaamam North, they want to leave us into so-called Nalli'nakka-puram (military built housing scheme), the place where urine was dumped in the past, and into barren quarry lands. Both the SL military constructed housing schemes or the impractical offers prompting the families to find 2 parappu [36 perches] of lands elsewhere with the offer of granting 4 to 8 lakhs of housing assistance for a 27x22 square feet house per family.”

“In the South, the SL government provides at least 27 lahks of rupees per Sinhala family affected by recent landslide, the SL attitude displayed in North is militaristic and completely discriminative towards the uprooted families in North, who lost their lands and properties to the occupying military and have been languishing in temporary shelters for almost three decades,” he says.

Each of the family in Mayiliddi in Valikaamam North had its own house. Most of their houses were not destroyed when the villagers were forced to flee their village. Many of these houses were destroyed by the military in recent times when the SL regime was attempting to convert the entire former ‘High Security Zone’ into a Sinhala Military Zone of colonies, farms and industries. Only the houses being used by the military are remaining in their original or modified form. After the regime change, the SL military is again given upper hand to determine everything related to their resettlement.

The average dimensions of a houses in Mayilidddi was at least 42x34 square feet, Subramaniyam says.

Now, either the SL military-built housing scheme or the 2 lakhs assistance to buy 36 perches of lands and additional 4 lakhs of compensation offered for the construction of a house elsewhere are not at all adequate.

The families need at least a hall, 3 rooms and a kitchen. This is impossible to achieve with the promised funding, he says. In addition, what does the SL military know about our culture and traditions of housing, he asks.

The families uprooted from Valikaamam North should be given their lands back. Each family should be given a compensation of 16 lakhs at minimum to construct the house with basic minimum needs, he said.

There are fresh efforts to launch an intensive protest condemning the resettlement farce and demanding the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena to present himself in person at a meeting with the Mayiliddi people to resolve their plight, Mr Subramaniyam said in the interview.



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