The occupying Sri Lanka Army in Jaffna has re-confiscated more than 250 acres of land in Kuppuzhaan North in Valikaamam South division of Jaffna district in recent days, evicting resettled families from their land, complain the uprooted families. The Sinhala Army has been putting up permanent concrete fences and has instructed people not to cross the fence. The news of the latest land grab by the SL military and the news of people being evicted again from the resettled areas of the former ‘High Security Zone’, on top of the news that the SL military planting land mines in de-mined areas of Maathakal, have slashed hopes of resettlement among the 40,000 people, who still remain as uprooted people after their eviction from Valikaamam HSZ.
Earlier, the commander of the occupying military in Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, the then SL Government of Jaffna District Imelda Sugumar and the SL Minister and EPDP paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda gave much publicity in opening Kuppuzhaan North for resettlement. But, the same area has now been silently snatched away from the resettled people.
With the latest move of the SL military, more than 25% of the lands in Kuppuzhaan North, where uprooted people were allowed to resettle, have been re-confiscated.
Similar fencing and re-confiscation of released lands in the ‘HSZ’ have been reported in Oddakap-pulam near Vasaavi’laan and in Kurumpachiddi in Valikkaamam North.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the SL defence secretary and presidential sibling has also refused to hand over the Palaali Teachers Training College and its 25 acres of land in the same area.
Informed sources say that a military enclave is being schemed, comprising a large tract of land belonging to 15 villages in their entirety and 8 villages partially in Valikaamam North as permanent cantonment of the three armed forces of Colombo.
This military enclave will also contain the Sinhala families from the South and the corporate workers of abetting powers, constituting an ‘Economic Zone’ in addition to the ‘High Security Zone’ and the ‘Sacred Sinhala Buddhist Zone’ in Maathakal.
Only 30 per cent of the ‘HSZ’ was earlier declared for resettlement and even that is now either re-occupied or made uninhabitable, civil groups representing the uprooted people say.
The Sri Lankan establishment, which has been projecting ‘resettlement’ along with its ‘LLRC’ hoodwink project, before the issue came up for discussion at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, has now stepped up the land grab again.
Colombo has also sabotaged the work of independent mine clearing groups to enable slow-phased de-mining to facilitate its agenda of land grab.
Grassroot political activists in Jaffna say that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the section of diaspora groups, that hurriedly welcomed the US-tabled resolution in Geneva, should now take the responsibility of facing the consequence of their fatal mistake of having extended uncritical support to the US agenda that has saved Colombo from the international investigation.
“Instead of giving false promises to our people that the powers would now open the door for the Eezham Tamils, the Tamil activists around the globe should realise that it is only a struggle-oriented leadership that could bring the necessary attitudinal change in the global establishments,” a student activist in Jaffna told TamilNet, questioning why the Tamil diaspora groups were not directing their protests at the gates of the powers that masterminded the UNHRC resolution and against the powers that continue to open ‘new doors’ to the oppressive Sri Lankan state.
The Sri Lankan military occupied High Security Zone (HSZ) along the northern coast of Jaffna peninsula, that evicted a large number of Tamil civilians from their homes for two decades now [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth]
A map revealing the status of mine clearing within the High Security Zone obtained by TamilNet in December 2010