Jaffna Protesters demand permission to resettle

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 May 2003, 11:08 GMT]
Valikamam North residents should jointly support and participate in the protest to be held today in front of Jaffna secretariat demanding permission to resettle in their homes that lie within the High Security Zone (HSZ) demarcated by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), said Maavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian in an appeal to residents in Jaffna, local press reports said.

In a press release issued in support of the protest, the parliamentarian further said:

  • Tamil people who were chased away from their homes by the SLA have suffered immense hardships during the last 15 years;
  • Unable to use their fertile lands for agricultural use, unable to earn a livlihood due to restrictions in fishing, and the destruction of industrial infrastructure such as the Kankesanthurai Cement factory, the displaced have suffered acute psychological damage;
  • The displaced have been languishing in refugee camps or are spending their lives destitute along roadsides;
  • The Sinhala occupational army under the cloak of security zones continue to include more of our peoples properties in strengthening the SLA camps;
  • We are left with no alternative except to mount continuing agitations until we are allowed to resettle in our own homes;
  • Normalcy in our lives have not returned even after 15 months of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE);
  • The GoSL which is increasingly being pressured by extremist forces should make a courageous step to allow Valikamam North Tamils resettle in their own land; and
  • The issues of HSZ and the resettlment of residents have been given wide publicity in International forums and progress in peace talks will be possible only if these issues are first resolved.
  • Under these circumstances I appeal to all Tamils in Jaffna to participate in the protest to show their determination to reclaim their lands from occupying forces.
Preparations have been going on for several days with the support of several civil groups in several towns in Jaffna to alert the residents of the need for wide participation in todays protest, sources said.


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