While the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaaksa is scheduled to visit Jaffna on Sunday to declare open a cancer hospital at Thellippazhai, the divisional secretaries serving under the SL Government Agent of Jaffna have been exerting pressure on the uprooted people from Valikaamam North to accept ‘alternative resettlement’ in the quarry lands at Kaangkeasanthu’rai (KKS). The ‘welfare centres’ where a section of the uprooted people from Valikaamam North live are to be closed down and this is the last chance for them to accept the offer, the officials have told them. However, the uprooted people remain firm in demanding the SL president to provide the lands seized by the SL military back to them.
Only if an assurance is provided to them with a fixed deadline for resettlement in their own lands, they would opt to settle in the quarry lands at KKS as a temporary arrangement, the representatives of the uprooted people said.
The SL military is transforming their lands into a Sinhala Military Zone in Valikaamam North. The houses of the people have been bulldozed in recent weeks while the uprooted people have filed cases against the seizure of their lands.
Even the quarry lands that are being allocated as alternative resettlement belong to other people.
The DS secretaries were trying to arrange a section of the uprooted people to meet the visiting SL president Rajapaksa to make them accept the offer, informed sources said.
Major General Udaya Perera of the occupying SL military, who has taken command of the Jaffna district has also met some of the uprooted people in an attempt to force them accept the offer.
In the meantime, the head of Valikaamam North displaced people’s organisation said the uprooted people remained firm in demanding resettlement in their own lands.