Featured image by Amalini de Sayrah

Over the last few months, there have been several protests across the Northern Province demanding the release of civilian land from under military occupation. While there have been no definitive responses to these protests in terms of long term solutions from the state, two small victories have taken place since.

First, the release of land in the Pilakudiyiruppu area and secondly, the release of the land belonging to Sellamma and some of her neighbours in Puthukudiyiruppu, both in the Mullaitivu district.

These two instances have something else in common, that their return home wasn’t as joyful and fulfilling as it should have been. They returned to find their homes in various states of damage and disarray, the actions of previous military occupants, angered by the victories of the protesting civilians.

Sellamma, 83 and living with one of her daughters, shared with Groundviews her story of evacuation to refugee camps, the long process of returning home and her now ongoing struggle of rebuilding it.

This story was compiled using the immersive platform Microsoft Sway. Click here to access the story directly, or view the embed below.