Human Rights

Tamils displaced for 26 years urge president to honour Christmas vow

Sri Lanka president was urged to fulfil his Christmas eve pledge to release land held by the occupying military in the country’s north by Tamils who held religious ceremonies to mark twenty six years since they were evicted from their traditional lands by a war forced exodus.

A grass roots organisation of displaced Tamils prompted President Maithripala Sirisena that a six-month deadline announced by him to hand over the land back to its original owners came to an end on the 23rd of June.

32 welfare centres

"During the war, wanting to establish a High Security Zone around its main airbase, in 1990 the Sri Lankan Security Force forcefully evicted us from our lands and houses. From then, to date even 7 years after the end of the war, we are either living in 32 welfare centers in Valikamam North or staying with our relatives elsewhere," said the Vally North Resettlement committee (VNRC) in an open letter.

Visiting the northern capital of Jaffna for state Christmas celebrations, President Sirisena vowed to solve the issues of internally displaced for over 25 years in ‘the next 6 months’.

He said the entire state service and the security forces will be utilized for the urgent task.

'Peak of tolerance'

Organising several religious observation events in Jaffna on 15 June VNRC announced its plans to enter the high security zones built upon their lands carrying white flags and land deeds.

"We are at the peak of our tolerance," they warned.

© JDS

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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