Bishop of Jaffna tells military to return land to the Tamil

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

In the Northern Province, the army continues a policy of forced evictions, unmoved by protests from the local population. Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam files a petition with the country’s Court of Appeal of the country.

Bishop of Jaffna tells military to return land to the TamilSri lanka, July 22, 2013: Mgr Thomas Savundaranayagam, bishop of the Diocese of Jaffna, has filed a petition with the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka against land expropriations carried out by the military in the Jaffna Peninsula, Northern Province. The land seized by the army belongs to the Tamil community, which is the majority ethnic group in the area. For quite some time, Tamils have complained of harassment by soldiers and police.

The bishop’s move follows an earlier appeal by 2,176 Tamils ​​living in the area. Faced with silence on the part of the authorities, the bishop went to court himself on 18 July.

While waiting for the Court to rule, another Tamil community complained about abuses committed by the military and police.

In Bharathipuram near Vavuniya (Northern Province), police and army expelled dozens of families from land owned by the Forestry Department, accusing them of illegal occupation. However, all of these people have lived in the area for almost 40 years, employed in the nearby plantations.

Since the Northern Province and the Eastern Province have a Tamil majority, they were the most affected by the country’s civil war (1983-2009), which left a long trail of blood for almost 30 years across the country.

Tamil Tigers rebels (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE) sought to establish an independent state as the conflict turned into an ethnic confrontation between Tamils and majority Sinhalese that ended only in the government’s victory after heavy losses.

– asianews

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