Uprooted people of 5 coastal villages in Jaffna issue 4 weeks ultimatum to Colombo
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 March 2017, 22:21 GMT]
Three senior leaders of the newly launched ‘Five Villages Development Joint Committee’, representing 6,000 families from Kaangkeasan-thu'rai, Oo'ra'ni, Mayiliddi, Thaiyiddi and Palaali, the five coastal villages that have been subjected to military occupation and complete annihilation of civilian infrastructure during the past 27-years, declared this week that their organiastion would launch a mass struggle. They have issued 4 weeks of ultimatum to SL President to respond to their appeal. If there is no positive response to their final appeal, they would undertake a relentless mass struggle until full resettlement, said veteran rights activist Vijayaratnam Ratnarasah, who has been involved in trade union, civic bodies and a convenor of one of the first citizens’ committees in the Tamil homeland since 1960.
Veteran trade unionist, civic member and convenor of Citizens’ Committee, Vijaratnam Ratnarasah
The senior trade unionist is accompanied by experienced activists Kandiah Balasubramaniyam and Ramanathan Inpathas.
Although selected pockets of lands have been released in KKS, Thaiyiddi and Oo'ra'ni, the so-called resettlement was only eyewash, they said.
SL military is everywhere. There are no infrastructure facilities. Fishing jetties are not released. No access to KKS harbour. Although the railway station at KKS was re-opened, there is no facility available for civilians.
There are 6,000 families from the five villages who have lost their houses, wells, livelihood and associated infrastructure for the past 27 years. The people have been living in displacement, paying at least 3,000 rupees per month as an average rent. Only a section of the uprooted have been living in the so-called well-fare camps.
Each family had its own house with wells and toilets attached to every house. There were electricity supplies to all the houses. Two colleges, KKS Nadeswara College and Vasavilan Central College, have suffered militarisation. Although Nadeswara College was re-opened the SL military is stationed around the college within a distance of 50 feet from the school building. In addition, there were at least two schools per village. There are no traces of the school buildings such as the popular Kalaimaka'l Viththiyaalayam in Mayiliddi and the American Mission School at KKS, Mr Inpathas said.
All the houses should be re-constructed by the SL State spending at least 30 lahks per house. The destroyed infrastructure should be fully re-constructed with proper livelihood arrangements and the residential areas should be completely de-militarized, the organisers demanded.
The SL President Maithiripala Sirisena will receive an appeal from the joint committee of five villages with the demands with 4 weeks ultimatum and mass struggle will be launched if SL President fails to respond to the appeal in a proper way, the organisers told TamilNet on Friday.
The organisation was formed on March 04 at a confluence held in Nadeswara College, the organisers further said.
Mr Ratnarasah said there were plenty of public lands belonging to KKS Cement Factory where the SL military could use. The KKS Cement Factory is no more a viable option as a factory as the area has been fully exploited for limestones in KKS.
But, the SL military has been trying to create so-called housing schemes for uprooted Tamils without proper infrastructure or livelihood facilities at limestone quarry lands in KKS while occupying the fertile lands of the people.
Mr Inpathas said the civil infrastructure linking coastal Tamil villages, such as Point Pedro - Keerimalai Road should also be de-militarized.