Colombo refuses resettlement of 173 families in coastal village of Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 October 2018, 17:31 GMT]
SL Forest Department is refusing to release more than 200 acres of agricultural and residential lands that belonged to 173 Eezham Tamil families of Kaara-munai, a coastal village located 47 km northwest of Batticaloa city, civil sources at the Batticaloa District Secretariat said. The people were chased out from their village first during the anti-Tamil pogroms in 1983. Then, during the times of war, they were again chased out in 1990. Also after the end of the war, they were again chased out in 2015. The uprooted people are languishing without proper livelihood elsewhere in Maangkea'ni and urge their lands to be released back to them.

Kaara-munai is located in Maangkea'ni South village (211G) division of Koa'ra'laip-pattu North (Vaakarai) DS division.

The houses and other properties of 70 families were wholly destroyed in an arson attack during the SL State-sponsored anti-Tamil pogrom known as 1983 Black July.

The Tamil residents crossed the river seeking refuge elsewhere. Later, they returned to Kaara-munai to resume Sena-cultivation as well as animal husbandry. However, people couldn't continue to live there in 1990.

A large SL military base was established 10 km east of Kaara-munai during the times of war.

Around 15 families managed to resume their livelihoods after 2009. However, five of them were detained in 2015 as the SL Forest Department started to harass them.

The SL Forest Department claimed the lands as coming under its domain.

The residents have documentation of renewing their permits between 2009 and 2015.

The uprooted people from Kaara-munai are struggling without proper livelihood and are toiling as daily wage workers.

The villagers said they want to resettle in their lands. They continue to visit the area weekly to worship their village deity of Kaa'li/Maariyamman.

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