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Not allowed to go home: Tamils to Rajapaksa

[Express Buzz, Friday, 16 July 2010 08:08 No Comment]

Tamil war refugees from Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts complained to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday about the denial of permission to return to their native places, even though a year had passed since the war against the LTTE ended.

BBC’s Tamil service reported that the complaint was made when the President met refugees at Kilinochchi on the sidelines of the special cabinet meeting held in the north Lankan town.

The refugees belonging to Thiru Murigandi, Indupuram and Shanthapuram told Rajapaksa that they were taken out of the Manik Farm refugee camp in Vavuniya on the undertaking that they would be sent to their native villages. But two months had elapsed and they were still in transit camps.

The President told them that once their villages were cleared of mines, they would be allowed to go back.However, when a group of refugees went to see the conditions in Murigandi, they had found that the army was engaged in road building over their lands. The refugees regretted that they were in no position to halt this.

Karuna takes up cause

Talking to the Tamil daily ‘Virakesari’ at Kilinochchi, Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna admitted that in Shanthapuram, the government had taken lands belonging to 300 families. But, he said that he had asked the government to give back the lands to the owners and use state lands .

Karuna said that in Sampur, in the Eastern district of Trincomalee, 1,800 acres of cultivable land had been taken over by the government to build the Indianaided power station.

"The government has the right to appropriate lands for public use. But I am against taking private lands," the Minister said.

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