Villagers ask for return of Iranaitheevu

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Published by : CT WEB 2017-10-20 12:52:42

By S. Bashkaran


While celebrating Deepavali, the people of Iranaitheevu requested the government to expedite the release of their lands.
"These are our ancestral lands which we need to improve our livelihood, which is fishing. Therefore, releasing them could be a gesture of goodwill by the government," villagers explained.


They were displaced due to the war in 1992. However, after the end of the war, islands except Iranaitheevu were released to people who were able to get on with their lives.


"Although the other islands were released after the war, we are unhappy that our main island - Iranaitheevu has not been given to us yet. We are not demanding others' lands but our own lands. We want to make a living from this island's resources,"
People also state that they cannot accept the government's claim that that the island is an essential part of the country's security, especially to detect drug smugglers.


"People are living peacefully in Analaitheevu, Nainatheevu and the Delft islands, and security forces are deployed to ensure security. Similarly, the Navy can stay on our island. We have been living in Iranaimathanagar and have never been accused of involvement in drugs," they said.


Villagers have been on a 'satyagraha' protest for the past 171 days since 1 May, urging the release of their fishing villages.

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