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.
Weather today 923
- China to provide 90 water bowsers worth Rs 1b 2290
- Wag the Dog 2287
- A brief look at FARC’s origins in Colombia 2234
- ‘Panama Papers’ bags Pulitzer 2258
- SAITM will cooperate with Govt 2262
- dead man was near fashion mall 2300
- Japanese MPs back Lanka’s development 2263
- CB Bond earnings whitewashed – JVP 2273
- Talks to extend Lanka’s Continental Shelf 2281
- Ex-DIG and son re-remanded 2273
- Government can be sent home 2813
- GMOA flogging SAITM for Mahinda– Rajitha 2282
- Ranil invites Japan to invest in S. Asia 2250
- Somali Pirates’ Captives Back Home 2267
- Customs in Rs 8 M bust 2261
- May Day Rally …or the Boot ! 2217
- Auspicious Times presented to President 2196
- Johnston sacked SLFP reshuffles K’gala 3029
- Singapore in the crossfire 3094
- Park impeachment and SK foreign policy 3045
- Red pilled about Trump 3045
- Need for Media house in Ampara stressed 3001
- Ragging: SEUSL suspends 28 undergrads 3017
- Violation of Visa conditions Russian arrested 3000
- More rice from Pakistan 2998
- Redefining Rape 2430
- The march of folly Our mad Cabinet system 1911
- First adventures in Europe 1998
- Inspiration for writers 1968
- Sri Lanka’s sustainable development dream 2285
- Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Easter 2167
- Filipino Oconer wins overall title 1903
- Unsporty conduct by Joes 1953
- Bertie Wijesinghe, pre-Test era Sri Lankan cricketer, dies aged 96 1927
- CEAT revs up for 2017 1917
- Palace shock Arsenal 1891
- Argentina fire coach Bauza 1912
- Keeping Cool 1900
- Do the right thing and do it now! 1906
- Ravi Jayewardene Pious son of a political giant 2501
- In the heart of the old country 2325
- Sarath Weerasekera’s Geneva adventure 2153
- No moral right to play with public funds 2083
- Minorities’ frustration a powder keg – VIDURA 2249
- Administrative powers a must for the Plantation Tamils –Radhakrishnan 1504
- Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness– Indika Perera 2649
- I will lead SLFP to victory in future elections – President 2029
- Hang the ‘traitors’– RTD. REAR ADMIRAL WEERASEKARA 2440
- We oppose Nationalism and Federalism – Samarasinghe 3104
- These people are Sri Lankans. They are not ‘Kallathonis’ Mujibur Rahman 4438
- Gazette minimum standards for Medical Education 4704
- A FOLLY COMPOUNDED! – Dr. Palitha Kohona 3605
- the timing is not right – Thol.Thirumavalavan 3286
- SilkAir launches direct flights to Colombo 1964
- Rupee falls on thin volumes 1936
- SriLankan, Japan Airlines add new routes 1924
- Colombo Port box volume up 5.6-pct in Jan 1918
- Private sector to transform into main domestic growth engine 1926
- Oil eases from 5-week top, rising US production weighs 1888
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies constrain SL’s growth 1916
- Shell admits dealing with money launderer 1898
- Toshiba may sell chip business to Foxconn for $27bn 1907
- Asian shares pressured by geopolitical risks; Nikkei down 0.25% 1892
- Trump pushed into bombing Syria 1951
- Thailand discovers Power of Women Travellers 1917
- Economics of gambling 1822
- Trans National Aural Identity 3479
- Queen Anula The Shadow of Cleopatra 3539
- Poetry and its possibilities Part 2 3540
- The Enigma of Labyrinths 3631
- From Couture to Kutir 3528
- Hybrid Sources 4919
- With a festive bang! 1140
- Easter Fun 1130
- Arrogance and crowing is the way of the doomed 1177
- Avurudu on the streets 1187
- Tick control 1168
- Sunny Sunday on the beach 1148