An unending TRAGEDY

16 October 2012 10:50 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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On August 5 the US boasted to the world about ‘Curiosity’, NASA’s most advanced planetary rover on the surface of Mars.  Of course, US had reasons for its bravado. The government too called on a major media pageant on September 25 to announce that all those who had been displaced by the war have been resettled: This was not second to the show put on by the world giant.

At the state ceremony held three years after end of war, the President said no other country could complete the resettlement process within such a short time. As it was not a mere media announcement but had been proclaimed at a state ceremony, no one expected it to be a lie. As the issue of the displaced persons had been a hot topic at many international forums, the government had pledged   that measures would be taken to resettle the displaced in their villages. Also, the government is scheduled to participate at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review in Geneva from 22nd October to 5th November 2012.

 It is under such circumstances that it was declared that Sri Lanka does not have any internally displaced persons at present.  On the 25th of last month,  Menik Farm in Vavuniya and Settikulam Camp were closed down and more than a thousand persons belonging to 361 families were resettled. However, it has been revealed that the display was not for grandeur but for tawdriness. According to what has been revealed the displaced persons have been resettled but not in villages as was initially promised.

What is serious is that about 110 families that were in the Menik Farm have been abandoned in a newly cleared jungle in Seenimottai. They were residents of Keppapilavu village in Mullaithivu.

Now the government could produce false information at international forums. Those representatives could be deceived for a short time. The government not only deceives the international community but also lies to the masses of this country. The government does not have any official explanation regarding abandoning these families in the jungle and for not resettling them in their former villages. However, it is known that the area comes under the purview of the Army. So far, no statement has been issued as to why this village could not be handed over to the original residents. Now, these villagers have been forced to start a new life in a newly bulldozed jungle with a few pots and pans, a few logs of timbre and several roofing sheets without water, electricity, roads or sanitation.  

 The issue of the forced re-settlers at Seenimottai is only one profile of the injustice. The government had requested the owners of the abandoned vehicles in Wellamulli Waikkal to reclaim their vehicles. However, those who went there found that they had been called not to reclaim their abandon properties but to hand them over to the government; needless to say, those who expressed disagreement were subject to intimidation.

What worried the residents of Krishnapuram and Malayalapuram in Killinochchi was no different. Their paddy lands have been taken over by the Civil Defence Corps in the guise of providing  training facilities for its cadres.

The farmers who are being denied their paddy lands as well as masses in this country are at a loss to understand the urgency to train military personnel when there is no war to fight.

These are people who were compelled to move from one place to another bearing the refugee label during war. These were the people who were used as human shields by the LTTE. The horrendous war made them widows; they are parents who have lost their children. They lost all their lifetime earnings and became paupers overnight. It is true that the worth of human life cannot be valued by money.

However, they have not been paid any compensation for the properties that have been seized. The minimum they ask is to recognise the basic requirements for them to live as human beings; they ask for human dignity the government has failed to grant it to them so far.
The tears that flow from their eyes tell us more. They ask the government not specify their places of residence according to the UNHRC agenda and not to make them an excuse for imperialists to intervene in Sri Lanka.
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  • Davis Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:28 PM

    The government can allow IDPs to return to their former homes. This is denied by the army chasing them away when they resettle.
    The military governer takes no action.


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