34,000 war-uprooted in Jaffna district alone: NPC Report

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 November 2017, 20:43 GMT]
Jaffna district tops the five districts in the Northern Province in the statistics over uprooted people who are awaiting resettlement in their private properties, which still remain occupied by the Sinhala military for the purpose of military zone and cantonments, according to a recent report submitted to NPC CM Justice C.V. Wigneswaran by the Deputy Chief Secretary on Planning at the NPC. There are 34,099 uprooted individuals belonging to 9,758 families in Jaffna district alone, the report says. There are 47,044 individuals who remain uprooted across the five districts. However, these figures are rather conservative and minimalistic as these do not include the people who have not lodged entries for resettlement and those currently remain as refugees in Tamil Nadu State of India and those who live exiled elsewhere as asylum seekers.

A detailed survey should include the families in the Tamil diaspora with property claims in SL military occupied zones, the NPC sources told TamilNet on Friday.

However, the SL Government Agent in Jaffna and SL military are trying to twist the details as low as 3,000 families uprooted in the district, as their statistics do not count anyone living outside the so-called welfare camps in the district.

The NPC sources said even the figures gathered by NPC Planning division only consist of the families that were living in the island and have registered with divisional secretariats demanding resettlement in their lands that are still occupied by the Sinhala military.

There are also several families who have lost motivation in registering for their stakes as they have lost hopes in regaining their lands.

Ki'linochchi ranks second highest with 2,416 individuals belonging to 725 families still living uprooted from their own lands and properties, which remain under SL military occupation, 8 years after the end of war.

In Vavuniyaa, Mullaiththeevu and Mannaar, less than 100 families per district have registered their claims in military occupied cantonments and lands. Here too, several families have been uprooted to Tamil Nadu or elsewhere.

The NPC should pay more attention towards SL Navy occupied places such as Mu'l'lik-ku'lam in Musali division of Mannaar and SLNS Gotabhaya Establishment in Mullaiththeevu along with Kokku'laay lagoon, which is becoming the epicentre of Sinhala colonisation that seeks to permanently wedge the North and East.

165,281 individuals have been totally resettled after war in the five districts, according to the NPC figures. However, at least 47,044 individuals are still awaiting resettlement in villages that remain under SL military occupation. At least 22% of the uprooted people are still unable to resettle in their own villages and properties due to Sinhala military occupation.

As of today, Valikaamam North region of Jaffna district stands for the largest number of SL military-evicted families, the NPC sources said.

At least 100,000 individuals were uprooted from Valikaamam North alone three decades ago. Only 40% of them are living in the island and have registered wishing resettlement. SL Government surveys have systematically excluded those living abroad.

Therefore, it is important for the NPC to carry out a detailed survey including those willing to claim their lands among those living uprooted in other countries as refugees or as asylum seekers. The entire phenomenon of Tamil Diaspora is intertwined with its homeland claim and their occupied properties should also be included in the figures, the civil sources further said.

The unitary State system in the island would not easily allow the NPC to conduct a such survey outside the island, the civil sources further said citing how Colombo scuttled the move by NPC CM Justice C.V. Wigneswaran to create an independent mechanism through the Chief Minister’s Fund to channel Tamil diaspora and other external assistance to the war-affected families in the province.

The provincial system is intentionally kept powerless to carryout such tasks by the unitary State system, which sets aside everything in the name of protecting its illegal claim of ‘territorial integrity’ over the entire island.


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