Update on the struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: Manthuvil in the Mullativu district

In relation to the 6 families who were staying at Our Lady of Velankanni church, original article available here.

Due to insistence of the families, the Army had agreed to vacate the lands they (Army) had occupied and allow all six families to go back to their own lands. However, around two acres of lands remains occupied by the Army. About one acre belongs to one family, while the rest comprises of about half acre each belonging to two other families. The Army is refusing to hand over these lands. The Assistant Government Agent for Puthukidiyiruppu had promised to provide alternative land, but no places or dates had been given. However, the people insist they want their own land back. All the families mentioned that they have Permits for these lands.

The Army had not paid any rent or compensation for the land occupied, with the occupation estimated to be for more than three years. The families estimate that the value of one acre of land would be around Rs. 500,000 as it’s on the main A35 road and bordering the war monument and war museum, visited by thousands of Sri Lankans on almost a daily basis.

There had been several buildings that the Army had built, but they were dismantling them and taking stones, iron etc. although the people had appealed to leave these buildings for their use. While me and my friends were there, the Army was dismantling the building and transporting stones by a tractor. There had been four commodes in the toilets the Army had built, but even these had been removed. One of the men whose land was occupied had lost both legs and had pleaded with the Army to leave one commode, but this was not heeded to.

  • walter

    The rank and file of the Army are like you and me.
    These orders come from the middle ranks.
    The middle ranks have to bow to their seniors.
    The seniors are like pet dogs, they follow their master’s instinct.
    They do not get direct orders from the top.
    By instinct and practice they know what the Master’s want and they deliver.
    The blame goes to the Army as a whole, but are they, the ones who are responsible?

    IN SRI LANKA THIS IS A PARADOX, AND SRI LANKA IS MADE THAT WAY.
    A HANDFUL OF US ARE DEBATING BUT WILL NEVER UNRAVEL THIS MYSTERY OF THE SRI LANKAN THINKING.

  • Citizen

    Since there is no excuse for the Army to continue holding on to these private lands it is best to file an HR case in the Supreme court. Initially a complaint could be lodged at the HR commission. The legal remedy is available to stop this type of impunity.

  • Anpu

    Thanks again Ruki. What about printing this article and the related ones and send it to the president. Or ask him to read them online and make comments. He is a budhist and just returned from India (where both Gandhi and Budha were born)after laying foundation for a budhist university. Why cant he be a real budhist??????

    • truth

      Since he always “boasts” that he has “liberated” his “Tamil Brothers and sisters” from monsters in a “humanitarian operation”, he should make it a point to live with them in their new “heaven” which he has “created” at least for a single day or even an hour and see what “comforts” they have been provided by his “kingdom” At least let him talk like a “true brother” with them for a few minutes!!!

      This is a challenge for him!!

  • truth

    This is plain and simple “robbery and thuggery” But the word coined by the Rajapakses is “reconciliation” “Humanitarian” etc. The Sinhalese from the South come and see these places as if their “great heroes” have conquered the enemy territory with great courage and valour!! They jolly well know that there was Genocide of the innocent Tamils and that they are walking on their blood, flesh and bones!!! They pretend not to know!!

    All this killing, maiming, robbing, raping is done in the name of Budha and his image is shamelessly installed in robbed land. While the owners of this land is left to fend for themselves in the jungle without a roof over their heads and no opportunity of making a living!!!

  • N. Ethirveerasingam

    Thank you again Ruki,
    This is another inhuman act of the GSL like so many others you have identified. The thinking behind it is not that of the people in the South but of the Administration from top to the bottom.

    As “Citizen” suggested legal remedy has to be sought in the Supreme Court. I hope those who are outraged by this inhuman act file a case for an injunction of such acts.