The hunger strike launched by nearly ninety families in Keppapilavu in the Mullaitivu District and continued for the past few days to regain their lands from the Security Forces has highlighted the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons in the Northern Province. The Keppapilavu land issue was raised in Parliament last Wednesday (8) by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) also expressed its support to the TNA which demanded that the National Unity Government should stand by the pledge to release the land in the possession of the Security Forces to its legitimate owners in the Northern and the Eastern provinces.
A civil society organization in the South called the People's Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) also expressed its solidarity with the civilians demanding the release of their lands in the possession of the Security Forces.
Some of the human rights activists from the South had also visited Mullaitivu and met the civilians demanding their lands to be returned from the possession of the Security Forces.
Calling for the release of lands from the possession of the Security Forces was one of the prime demands mentioned in the two manifestos released by the Tamil National Alliance at the Presidential and the Parliamentary polls in 2015.
Releasing the lands
Unlike the previous regime the present National Unity Government has expedited the process of releasing the lands in the Jaffna Peninsula and several lands which remained within the High Security Zone in the Valikamam North area has been released to the legitimate owners.
However, the hunger strike in Keppapilavu clearly indicates that despite the efforts taken by the present government to resolve the humanitarian issues, the Northern Province still largely remains a garrison region with the extensive presence of Security Forces.
It was two weeks ago a hunger strike which was carried out in Vavuniya by the relatives of the disappeared persons and the Tamil political prisoners was brought to an end following the intervention of the State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene.
The State Minister had assured the persons engaged in the hunger strike in Vavuniya, that he would find a solution to their grievances as early as possible.
At the Presidential and the Parliamentary polls in 2015, voters in the North and the East gave a clear mandate to usher in good governance to find solutions to their grievances.
The two manifestos of the Tamil National Alliance which had mustered the popular support of the people in the North and the East had not mentioned anything on extremism or separatism.
The North and East civilians only expected relief from the terrifying conditions which they underwent for three decades with a durable political solution to strengthen peace and reconciliation.
Even several leading personalities from the UN agencies such as the Commissioner of the UNHRC who visited the island justified the demands of the people in the North and the East in solving their humanitarian issues. Evidence was also collected by them with regard to alleged war crimes and human rights violations committed during the tenure of previous regime.
Soon after coming to power the present government in October 2015 co-sponsored the UNHRC resolution to address various humanitarian issues and to mete out justice over alleged war crimes and human rights violations.
So the protests which are being staged by the people in the North and the East in the past two years could be seen as their emphasis on what had been agreed upon and co-sponsored by the Government in the UNHRC resolution of 2015.
The delays in responding to the genuine demands in solving the humanitarian issues of the civilians who were directly hit by the civil strife in the North and the East would lead to more and more protests and agitations in the two provinces while giving 'oxygen' to the chauvinist elements for their survival in the South.
The TNA being a party with popular support in the North and the East with its position as main Opposition Party in Parliament plays a very responsible role by not favouring radicals in the two provinces.
The TNA's handling of North and East issues in a very moderate manner cannot be taken for granted by the Government or other political forces in the South.
A few days ago at the site of the hunger strike outside the Air Force camp in Keppapilavu, the children of the families staging the hunger strike were seen making wooden bows and arrows and shooting them into the Air Force camp premises.
This particular behaviour of the Keppapilavu children who have been even boycotting their schools from the time the hunger strike started by their family members a week ago has reminded of the behaviour of the Palestine children in the border areas between Israel and Palestine throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers.
If the land issue of the Internally Displaced Persons along with other issues such as the detention of the LTTE suspects and the search for the disappeared persons continue to remain unresolved with the military presence in the North and the East, the civilians in the two provinces will be compelled to continue with their agitations with the impression that they live in a garrison land despite the end of civil war.
- Peace Air goes to HRC, SC next week 2487
- Rajapakshe damns Int’l Community 2480
- ‘Drum and Dance’ with Kandy GHS OGA 2465
- 77th National Day of Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2467
- Right royal gesture 2468
- Rare discovery in Tissamaharama 2477
- SLFP MP laments crossovers 2637
- Held with electronic cigarette 2486
- More Luxury Cars for Ministers 2505
- MR wishes Ranil ‘Happy B’Day’ 2481
- New domestic airline 2471
- Medvedev- Sirisena have broad talks 2466
- Helicopter maintenance centre in SL 2470
- 3 soldiers arrested, brigadier probed 2475
- MPs warned against misconduct 2467
- BASL inducts new President today 2461
- Mubarak freed 2461
- Human Rights at heart of EU Policy – Margue 2463
- Six Forest reserves made one 2465
- NZ High Commission in Sri Lanka 2461
- Govt must honour UN resolution – TNA 2461
- CB move, a monetary strategy 2462
- Lanka thanks countries for support at UNHRC 2462
- Wimal stays hungry 4262
- Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship stands firm – HC Hussain 4189
- Protests, fisticuffs and fast unto death 2501
- Are tourism authorities wearing blinkers? 2494
- A time of gifts 2475
- Nationalists and globalists 2468
- Rationalists vs charlatans Never-ending battle 2468
- Right of access to legal assistance 2468
- Hamilton bosses season's first practice 2469
- Brazil thrash Uruguay 2463
- Federer, Nishikori missing from Monte Carlo line-up 2467
- Messi fires Argentina over Chile 2466
- Tough skipper says South Africa 'not good enough' 2466
- Mahanama takes honours on first day 2473
- COMPOUNDED MISERY 3545
- Forefathers of Tamils of SL were original inhabitants of this Country 3604
- Jaffna Prepares for Chronic Kidney Disease 3387
- A Blueprint for Disintegration 3389
- Refugee returnee safety still in doubt? 3348
- Tamils lived in N/E before Buddhistic era – Wigneswaran 3577
- We await President’s response – Gemunu 3211
- LTTE atrocities also have to be investigated 3775
- Exporters to EU must be educated on Brexit – GM ECCSL Srinath 3279
- Speaker refused our request 3277
- Dinesh only UPFA’s Deputy Leader 3277
- Voters must exercise caution when electing MPs – Harshana Rajakaruna 2568
- Forced family planning is happening countywide – Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera 3886
- ITAK’s arbitrary actions cause conflict in TNA – Sivasakthy Ananthan 3549
- NCSL for Sustainable Development 5215
- Major endorsement of govt’s reconciliation efforts 4708
- Tomorrow’s cities: Are your shoes giving away data? 2468
- Trouble on the ranch Threats to trade deals worry US cattle farmers 2467
- What creativity in marketing looks like today 2468
- Hameedia launches ‘Andum Mesaya’ to celebrate Avurudu 2468
- Bankers are no longer the enemy 2472
- Reform immigration laws to attract more FDI 3273
- Shares record new 53-week low 3270
- Money printing up Rs 8.31B 3374
- Dhammika Perera appointed as Lanka Walltiles Chairman 3272
- Emerging cities provide significant opportunities 3260
- The crisis in Parliament: Twilight of a functioning democracy 3480
- Mispriced Risk of Infectious Diseases 2419
- Limelight on Sri Lanka again 2423
- Musicalized Version of Nostalgia 5440
- The Many Faces of Galle 6300
- Footpaths Towards Deconstruction - Part 13 5462
- Fiesta for Theatre lovers 5916
- Viramaya 2017 – Phenomenal success 5447
- Sri Lankan movie at Geneva film festival 5501
- To be or not to be 1312
- Kids get cooking 1311
- Mindfulness for successful living 1328
- The age of nastiness 1312
- 20 years of singing celebrated 1308
- How do we prevent rape and abuse? 1313