Uprooted people from Pa'l'li-munai secure interim order against SL Navy surveying lands

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 September 2016, 18:36 GMT]
Uprooted Tamil fisher families from Pa'l'li-munai in Mannaar city said they were encouraged by Mannaar District Judge Aseervatham Gracian Alex Raja, who categorically stated on Monday that the SL Survey Department should not be engaging in surveying the lands of the families while their cases were being heard by the courts. A special motion was moved on Monday at Mannaar District Court as Divisional Secretary Subramaniyam Vasanthakumar told the families last month that he would be forced to take police action if they continued to protest against the Survey Department officials. Two surveying attempts were thwarted by the protesters last month.

Pa'l'li-munai villagers on protest on 23 August
Pa'l'li-munai villagers on protest on 23 August
After their last protest on 23 August, the Divisional Secretary gave a 14-day ultimatum to the protesting people and warned them that he would be forced to act against them on the grounds of causing disturbance to public officials from doing their work.

The sources close to Divisional Secretary in Mannaar said that Mr Vasanthakumar was under increased pressure from the SL Navy and the SL ministries in Colombo to blackmail the fishing families who were blocking the SL Survey Department officials from surveying the lands.

The coastal village of Pa'l'li-munai is located within the urban limits of Mannaar city.

The occupying Army of genocidal Sri Lanka (SLA) seized more than 25 houses and the fish market belonging to the poverty-stricken fishermen at the locality on 30 November 1990. SL Police was also deployed at Pa'l'li-munai since that time.

In 2000, Pa'l'limunai was brought under the SL Navy.

In 2013, the families chose to file cases against the SL Navy commanders and the SL Defence Secretary for refusing to release their lands.

Sinhala lawyers, representing the navy of the SL State, have been attempting to offer two crores of rupees as a ‘settlement fee’ and as ‘compensation’ to the 19 complainants and were asking the families to drop the cases.

However, the people have remained firm in their struggle for resettling in their own village.

Since January 2016, the occupying Sinhala military has been silently consolidating its temporary positions and camps into permanent structures.

The strategic part of the district, commanding both the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannaar as well as commanding the closest communication line with the Tamil Nadu coast, has become a hive of intense Sinhala militarisation and demographic changes in recent times.

Pa'l'li-munai villagers on protest on 23 August
Pa'l'li-munai villagers on protest on 23 August


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