SL military steps up land grab in Vaakarai, Batticaloa
The occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has demanded thirteen Tamil families in Thoa’nithaa’ndamadu, a village in the Koa’ralaip-pattu North (Vaakarai) DS division in Batticaloa district to hand over photo copies of their deeds in an attempt to grab their lands saying that they would be paid rent for its use. The residents say that the SLA promise is not genuine but a ploy to grab their lands where a SLA camp is already is located.
The SLA camp is located 90 km off northwest of Batticaloa district.
On 27 May 1987, seventeen Tamil villagers, including six children and three women, were brutally massacred by the SLA soldiers who were from this camp.
Later, the LTTE liberated the area.
20 years later, after the end of the war in Vaakarai in 2007, the occupying SLA, which established the camp again at the same site, annexed 13 residential plots, half an acre each.
Since 2012 November, the SLA officers from the camp have been telling the owners of the lands that they would be paid rent if they were prepared to hand over photocopies of their deeds with their signatures.
Falling prey to the SLA offer, four land owners had handed over the photocopies of their deeds to the SLA officers. But, they are not paid any rent as promised by the occupying military.
Meanwhile, a group of SLA soldiers were on a ‘search operation’ on Tuesday, visiting the houses of the remaining landowners, who had ‘failed’ to produce photocopies of their deeds.
The remaining residents were firm and said they were not prepared to lose their lands by handing over the photocopies.
The same ploy was used by the SLA in the year 2007 to put up a camp in Vaakarai by grabbing lands of 44 Tamil families by getting their signatures in blank papers. The 44 families have been undergoing hardships without lands for their survival and livelihood.
In the meantime, the SL authorities have exerted pressure on the divisional civic body in Kathirave’li to hand over 75 acres of lands situated along the coast of Kathiraveli to a private company from South to exploit the Ilmenite deposits in the area. Now, the seawater is entering residential areas causing hardships to the residents, news sources in Vaakarai told TamilNet.