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SL military steps up harassment on IDPs as US draft drops ‘de-militarisation’ in Geneva

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 March 2014, 23:20 GMT]
As the US draft that already failed Tamils by dropping international investigation on Sri Lankan State gets further watered down in its demands at the corridor discourse at Human Rights Council in Geneva, the occupying SL military in North and East of the island has strengthened its grip on Tamil people who have been determined with seeking justice on the ground. While those demanding the SL State to reveal the whereabouts of their missing family members in the North are subjected to harassments by the intelligence wing of the SL military, the uprooted Champoor Tamils still languishing in temporary huts in four camps in Moothoor East in Trincomalee are left to rotten with deteriorating health conditions in their camps, the women in the camps complain.

Repeatedly harassing the people to obtain alternative lands at different locations than the military occupied Champoor region, the Sri Lankan military attempted to forcefully relocate the uprooted people form the so-called welfare camp at Kaddai-pa’richchaan 3 weeks ago. The Divisional Secretary of Moothoor has also been instructed by Colombo to work with the SL military in meting out the ‘collective punishment’ on the families that still demand resettlement in their own villages.

There are three more similar camps in Moothoor division at Ma’nal-cheanai, Paddiththidal and Ki’liveddi. More than 1,300 Tamil people reside in the four ‘camps’ with no proper shelter.

Of the 347 families residing at Kaddaipa’richchaan, 115 are women-headed families, the uprooted people told TamilNet. Totally, there are around 250 women-headed households in all the four camps, they say.

The uprooted are still residing inside the shelters that were meant to last for 6 months when they were initially set up four years ago. The uprooted people have not been provided dry rations for the last four years. If anyone enters their camps to provide humanitarian assistance, the SL military intelligence operatives question the people on the visit by such ‘outsiders’.

The problems of the families start with water, especially potable water. There is only one well per 25-30 families. A toilet is provided for every 10-15 huts. Toilet pits have become full, but there is no assistance forthcoming from the Divisional Secretary, who is responsible to the management of the camps. The DS has been instructed not to facilitate any such assistance, the uprooted people complain.

The families also complain that the basic economic assistance doesn’t reach them on a regular basis.

Now, some persons claiming themselves as the owners of the lands, where Kaddaipa’richchaan temporary settlement is situated, ask the families to vacate the place. The area was a jungle, when the people cleared it for their temporary settlement four years ago, the inmates say.

Some of those living in the camps have left the site due to deteriorating health conditions. They are paying around 3,500 rupees per month to stay elsewhere. But, female-headed households are unable to afford such expenses, the mothers say.

 

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