Drought-stricken Tamil farmers in Vanni abandoned by authorities, politicians, NGOs

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 August 2018, 23:06 GMT]
The resettled Eezham Tamil families in Madu division of Mannaar district complain that the SL authorities have wholly abandoned them. None of the Tamil politicians has helped them to address their grievances caused by the drought that had rendered 4,300 families who are struggling without the proper livelihood in the absence of agricultural income. The families say they have been complaining since the monsoon rains failed towards the end of 2017. Now, the people are struggling even without potable water.

Out of 17 GS division within the Madu Divisional Secretariat division, only Paalam-piddi has access to potable water through pipelines.

The lack of potable water in Madu division is a sharp contrast with the facilities available in other divisions of the district.

At least 53 families have been urging immediate relief from the authorities.

The Divisional Secretariat has been forwarding the complaints to the SL Ministry of Disaster Management, but with no avail, civil sources in the division said.

Tamil civil sources pointed out that the poverty-stricken people were also repeatedly pleading with the authorities to resume the Cachew plantation in 1,000 acres of lands that come under the purview of the SL Cashew Corporation.

However, the board of directors at the state-owned corporation have not considered their request, the officials said.

In the meantime, the SL Wild Life Department has also nailed the move by claiming the lands where the people want to resume the cashew farms at Madu as lands coming under its ‘sanctuary’.

The de-facto Tamil Eelam administration run by the LTTE in the past was much more efficient even amidst the times of war, they said.

The cashew plantation land is located between Madu Road Junction and Madu Church.

The people here are much below the poverty line. The UN aid agencies, NGOs and the humanitarian agencies operated by the foreign countries are also ignorant of their plight, the officials further said.

The war-affected North-East is being sidelined in foreign assistance as the entire island coming under the occupying State actor in Colombo, is regarded as a “Middle-Income country” by their lopsided standards.

These agencies were interested in their presence during the times of war. Now, they have shifted their offices to Colombo.

 

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