SL Navy, Buddhist monks ‘harass’ resettling Champoor Tamils

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 May 2015, 11:41 GMT]
Two Buddhist monks, who arrived in Champoor with Sri Lankan police escort on Sunday were telling the Tamil civilians present inside their lands, to collaborate with Colombo to establish the so-called Special Zone of Heavy Industries (SZHI) to bring ‘development’ to Champoor area. The Tamil people responded to them by stating that the people of the area should be given their lands back to them enabling them to sustain their livelihood as an agricultural society. Allowing the people of the region to evolve their own development should be the goal of a government claiming good governance, the people told them. In the meantime, Sri Lanka Navy, still occupying the lands near the 818 acres of lands being released, has been intimidating the resettling people by questioning their presence near the SL navy camp.

The SL Navy officers told the Champoor villagers that they are yet to receive official information on the decisions taken in Colombo from the SL Ministry of Home Affairs. The Government Agent or Divisional Secretary have also not informed the SL military on the ‘procedure’ for resettlement, the SL Navy officers have said. The people would not be allowed to resettle near the military base until the SL Navy was given alternative lands, the military officers have told.

The SL Governor in the East has promised 150 acres of alternative lands to the SL Navy. But, the SL Navy maintains that the allocation was not enough and demands 400 acres north of the current cantonment.

The SL Navy is also exerting pressure on a few landowners to sell their lands to the military. At the same time, the SL Navy wants the new regime to allocate more public lands to shift the cantonment.


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