Valikamam north IDPs picket demanding resettlement

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 May 2003, 14:24 GMT]
Hundreds of internally displaced families of Valikamam north Tuesday held a two hour picketing campaign in front of the Jaffna district secretariat, demanding that they should be allowed to resettle in their lands occupied by the Sri Lanka Army.

All official activities of the district secretariat came to a standstill when the picketers prevented employees from entering their offices in the secretariat. The Consortium of Valikamam North Public Organizations organized the campaign, sources said.



Picket



Vehicular traffic through A9 highway also came to a standstill during the picketing. More SLA troops were deployed at the scene with heavy vehicles. Tension prevailed among the picketers when some army personnel started taking videos of the picketers. Promptly the Police at the scene intervened and brought the situation under control, sources said.

The protestors carried placards demanding that the Sri Lankan government implement the Ceasefire Agreement signed with the LTTE without delay.

At the conclusion of the picketing, a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister was read out publicly and was later handed over to the Jaffna district Government Agent, Mr.S.Pathmanathan, to be sent to Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, sources said.

"Our consortium represents several civil organizations in the Valigamam north division. We brought to the notice of the authorities concerned several times the resettlement of displaced families in the Valikamam north division without delay. But up to now no concrete step has been taken in this regard. Thousands of displaced families from Valikamam north are now languishing in refugee camps and welfare centers without any hope even after sixteen months since the signing of the MOU by the GOSL and the LTTE," said the memorandum signed by Mr.K.Sivamaharasa and Mr.S. Sambasivam, President and Secretary respectively of the Consortium.

“Instead of removing the high security zone encompassing densely populated civilian areas,” the Consortium said in its memorandum, “the SLA is actively engaged in establishing more camps in residential areas. This is a gross violation of the Ceasefire Agreement.”

"Today, we have expressed our protest by picketing the Jaffna districtsecretariat. If our demands are not met, we will be compelled to launch a major protest campaign in the peninsula, bringing the civil administrationto a standstill," said the Consortium.



Picket





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