Two years have elapsed since 818 acres of lands were released by Maithiripala Sirisena’s regime back to the uprooted of people of Champoor. However, the resettled people have not received documents confirming their ownership to lands to date. At the same time, more and more lands are being grabbed by the occupying Sri Lanka Navy as the time goes on, complain uprooted Tamils, who have been subjected to strict surveillance by the Intelligence wings of the occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka. The Electricity Board of ‘Sri Lanka’ is also seizing lands in addition to the SL Navy. The representatives of three Rural Development Societies (RDS) in Moothoor Division have jointly categorized 4 major land-related issues in Champoor, according to Mr S. Shanmuganthan, who is the chairman of Champoor East RDS.
Apart from the reluctance of legally ensuring the ownership of released lands to 950 families that have managed to resettle so far, the remaining lands, including the ones that belong to private owners, are being seized at three locations. These lands essential to ensure the livelihood of the resettled people, according to the three RDS representatives.
In recent weeks, the Electricity Board of ‘Sri Lanka’ has put up fences covering 200 acres of lands, which belong to private land owners. These lands should also be handed back to the rightful owners.
Another lot of 49 acres of lands have been seized from Champoor people under the pretext of constructing a transport road for fuel to the coal power plant, which has now been abandoned. But, the lands have not been returned to the people, the RDS representatives say.
In addition, 18 uprooted Tamil families were indirectly forced to give up their lands at Chaayakkara-vaddavaan to the occupying SL Navy.
However, alternative lands have not been provided to them as promised. But, SL Navy has seized 400 acres in addition to their 40 acres. The remaining 360 acres also consist of lands with livelihood resources of Champoor villagers.
The SL State is reluctant to ensure the land rights in a legal manner just because it wants to seize more lands in Champoor, the resettled people complain.
The representatives of the three RDS societies have also handed over an urgent appeal with necessary documentation to SL Human Rights Commission office, which is located in Eastern port city of Trincomalee, on Friday.