Jaffna IDPs to seek Supreme Court assistance

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 August 2003, 17:49 GMT]
Internally displaced families from Manthuvil village in Thenmaradchchi division in Jaffna district have taken preliminary steps to file suit in the Supreme Court seeking permission to resettle in the their houses and lands which have been occupied by the Sri Lanka Army outside the high security zones, legal sources said Friday.

Arrangement has been made to file the petition in the Supreme Court through the Human Rights Development Centre with the assistance of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, civil groups in Jaffna said.

The petition will seek the country's highest law court to order the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to vacate the lands and houses of internally displaced families immediately enabling their resettlement, legal sources said.

The SLA captured Jaffna district in 1996 military operations and established several camps in more than one thousand civilian houses. Since the Memorandum of Understanding came into operation in February last year the SLA is still occupying more than six hundred fifity civilian homes contrary to the MoU, legal sources said.

IDPs who have returned for resettlement are now forced to reside in welfare centres and refugee camps as the SLA has refused to vacate their houses and lands, sources said

Earlier Manthuvil IDPs staged several protest campaigns in front of the offices of Thenmaradchchi Divisional Secretariat and Jaffna district secretariat demanding the SLA to vacate their lands and houses enabling them to resettle and to restore normalcy in their lives. However the SLA is still refusing to vacate the lands and houses forcing the IDPs to languish in the refugee camps and welfare centres indefinitely, civil groups said.

 

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