23 June, 2024


Military Occupying Over 96% Land Belonging To Tamils: BTF

The British Tamils Forum has claimed that despite the war being ended nearly seven years ago, the Sri Lankan military continue to occupy more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people under the guise of ‘national security.’

Sirisena - Minister of Defence

Sirisena – Minister of Defence

In a statement, the Forum claimed today that as of March 1, 2016, the military was occupying 67,427 acres of land belonging to the Tamils in the Northern Province.

“During the previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the North alone, nearly 70,000 acres of land was under occupation. Since the change of government in January 2015, just over 2,500 acres of these lands has been released. This constitutes a mere 3.6% of the total land taken over in the North by the Sri Lankan military,” the statement said.

We publish below the statement:

Tamils’ land occupied by Sri Lankan security forces

Nearly seven years after the end of the war, the Sri Lankan military is still occupying more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people who were driven off their own lands, in the pretext of “national security”.

Field data obtained by British Tamils Forum (BTF), in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, indicate that as of 1st March 2016, the military is occupying 67,427 acres of land belonging to the Tamil people.

During the previous government of Mahinda Rajapakse, in the North alone, nearly 70,000 acres of land was under occupation. Since the change of government in January 2015, just over 2,500 acres of these lands has been released. This constitutes a mere 3.6% of the total land taken over in the North by the Sri Lankan military.

BTF provides below the breakdown of land occupation, obtained from primary sources in the north.Land grabbing

The present Sri Lankan government has been making much fanfare of the minuscule land releases while hiding the true extent of the occupation.

Above statistics show the continuing occupation of private land and lack of progress in addressing the suffering of the displaced people, who are prevented from returning to their own land.

As per our reliable sources from Jaffna, Sri Lankan government survey department has been instructed to survey 118 new locations for land acquisitions in the Jaffna peninsula for building permanent military camps for the Sri Lankan military. These surveys, initiated by the previous government, had been abandoned due to public protest at the time. Resumption of this process by the present government exposes its true intentions, contrary to its pledge on demilitarization and return of land to the Tamil people.

BTF calls upon the Sri Lankan and International media to expose the above reality and calls upon the politicians who came on a promise of change to stop the deception and deliver the promised change to the Tamil people immediately.

BTF calls upon the British government to take up the issue of demilitarisation urgently and exert due pressure on the Sri Lankan government to return all the land occupied by the Sri Lankan military to the rightful owners.

We call upon the Sri Lankan government to honour its promises on several occasions including its commitment to return these lands, in accordance with the UNHRC Geneva resolution it co-sponsored.

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Latest comments

  • 4


    Mullaitivu, Kilinochi, Jaffna, Mannar and Vavunia are ancient Sinhala names and obviously the land belongs to Sinhalese.

    Please cite some evidence from Sangam literature to prove Sinhala ownership of all these lands.

    Why on earth BTF is kicking a big fuss?

    • 3

      Native Veddha –
      You said ‘Why on earth BTF is kicking a big fuss.’
      BTF is not the forum of the ‘suddhas’ of Britain, but it belongs
      to Tamil expatriates who fled to Britain during the war, leaving every
      thing behind, including their lands and naturally, they are concerned because their lands are under occupation while the land deeds are still
      with them. Most of them are doing menial jobs to maintain themselves in UK and other Western countries and they will certainly return if all the conditions are met including handing back their lands in one piece. This is what SL refugees in India are doing now, although faci
      -lities are better there, love for their mother land, forces them to return at a time peaceful coexistence is assured by the govt.in power.(God knows for how long). The President made several special trips to Jaffna to assure the people that all private lands confiscated by the army during the war will be released within six months but this promise is not fulfilled yet and people suspect that this may not happen as they think that the govt. has other plans.

      The names of the villages you mentioned are Tamil names except Jaffna,
      which has a historical name called Yalpanam ,named after a poet.There
      were many Tamil names of the villages in the East, bordering Sinhala
      villages are changed.’Weli Oya’ which also had a historical name called
      “Manal Aru” for years, meaning white sand river and Kathirgamam named after a Hindu god, changed to Kataragama and historical Thiru – kona – malai (trinco)given a meaningless name. Ampara, where the Majority of the inhabitants are Tamils and Muslims, had a Tamil Name. Seetha Oli used in Ramayanam (Rama & Seetha) is now Seetha eliya . Every village name in N/E had a meaning, derived from age old history of the area and this proves that Tamil influence in this country prevailed for
      many many centuries.

      Now that there is an attempt to forcefully colonize Tamil areas, b’cos
      it makes it easier as the TNA is in an aiding and abetting mood, does not protest on what ever the Govt.does on behalf of the Tamils. N/E provinces are bound to lose some more Tamil village names, connected with age old history as N/E provinces are being squeezed to become smaller from both sides of Trinco and Vavuniya. The systematic torture
      of Tamil language, religion & culture will continue, unabated until such time TNA wakes up from a deep slumber.

  • 7

    BTF I am totally in agreement with you that private lands occupied by the military, Tamil owned or otherwise, must now be handed back. The war is over and there is no need for such large swathes of security zones.

    BTW BTF how about the lands the Muslims were evicted from in Jaffna. They are being occupied by who??? BTW BTF the evicted Muslims must also be invited back to their lands. Those illegally occupying such lands must be asked to move and make way. That is the right thing to do.

    • 10

      Have every been to Jaffna or to the other parts of the North. The number of Muslims evicted were around 60000 compared to the more than 1.2 million Tamils ethnically cleansed from their lands and 300000 Tamil civilians deliberately killed by the Sinhalese establishment and Sinhalese and Muslim thugs.
      Most of these evicted Muslims did not own any land and other than the occupying Sinhalese armed forces, no one is stopping them from returning. Most of themselves do not want to return. However we do not want opportunistic Muslims as well as Sinhalese politicians with the support of the Sri Lankan government and the occupying Sinhalese armed forces deliberately settling out of area Muslims and Sinhalese who have no claim to the north or to the east under the pretext of evicted people, to deliberately change the demography.
      Do not use the pretext of a few thousand evicted Muslims to prevent any justice to the indigenous Tamils of the north and east who were the real victims of this war and the state sponsored Sinhalese racism.
      The Muslims by large greatly benefitted by this conflict and the marginalisation of the island’s Tamils. Especially in the east where they evicted thousands of Tamils from their land and are still occupying these lands and will not allow the Tamils to return. I do not hear you or other Sinhalese racists and Muslim opportunist ever mentioning this.

      • 0


        I totally agree that the horror the Tamil populace faced prior to the LTTE, during the war and now after war is terrible. All those with a humane heart sympathise with the plight of Tamils forced to move from one place to another. There are still a great number of Tamils without proper shelter. There are many Tamil families who are still waiting for information about their missing kith and kin.

        I do agree that the armed forces who are occupying Tamil lands must move out and allow the rightful owners to return.

        I also agree there were opportunists who benefited from the war and they were from all communities including Gota who raked in commissions from the Ukraine arms deals.

        But I do not agree that you should downplay the harrowing usurping of the Muslims from areas in LTTE control. Most of them were poor people who were struggling to make a living in war like conditions. Yes a greater number of Tamils were badly affected. But the smaller number of Muslims who were unjustly usurped must also be considered in the same vein.

        The Tamil political elite should make the Muslims welcome back to the land from where they were forcibly evicted. The Muslims must feel secure to come back.

        • 4

          “”The Tamil political elite should make the Muslims welcome back to the land from where they were forcibly evicted. The Muslims must feel secure to come back. “”

          ISIS is a danger to neighbor and the world.
          Go back under the rock you come from.

          there won’t be any ghetto’s and it’s non of your business.

  • 3

    Let the Government (not commenters)refute if it can:

    1. The statistics given for the 5 districts, updated on 1.3.2016

    2. Instructions to the Survey Department to survey 118 new locations

    A blithe refutation wouldn’t suffice. An authoritative report is necessary.

    • 0

      Not only at Ministerial levels, the Defence Secretary`s Office should be the compelled by the TNA MPs to transparently disclose the policy they are being directed by in regard to “Occupation” of Civilian lands after a civil war, presently and in the past. This is a democratic country and such output is essential. This is why a Community finds causes for uprising and separation.

  • 2

    The British Tamils Forum

    “The British Tamils Forum has claimed that despite the war being ended nearly seven years ago, the Sri Lankan military continue to occupy more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people under the guise of ‘national security.’”

    Yes. Very good to expose the occupation of Tamil Lands. This is a “Kind of Ethnic Cleansing”

    The British Tamils Forum, do you know how many acres of Northern Muslim Lands are occupied by:

    1. Sri Lankan military

    2. The Sri Lanka Tamils

    3. Commercial Enterprises.

    There are rumors that most pf Pulmuddai was occupied by the Sri Lankan Military, and the Muslim House at other places are occupied by Tamils.

    When are they going to sort this out? Velupillai Prabakaran, Act II?

  • 4

    During the final phase of the war GOSL asked all the NGOs, foreign media to leave North & East. Even the foreign diplomats stationed in Colombo could not go as they too were banned entering these zones even to the refugee camps and rehabilitation centres.

    Yes 7 years have passed if the GOSL is genuine in rehabilitation, peace, reconciliation, and development and there is nothing to hide any more they should allow international observers access to most of the areas occupied by the armed forces.
    To start with observers from UN permanent member countries plus 2 other countries China and India must be allowed as a 1st tier. At a later stage Observers from other countries like Japan, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany and Israel can come as 2nd tier.

    This way SL also could prove it to the IC that the situation in SL is now more conducive for 2 way businesses to flourish.

    In the above process of observations the Sattelite technologies can come as a help too.

  • 6

    The CPA released a report last week. They estimate 12,000 acres. This one is almost 5 times high. So someone is way off the mark.

    There is a really good reason why these Tamils gets worked up and starts to spread hoaxes. They wake up every morning and visit a site called TamilNet. The guy there always alarmed about “Tamil extinction”.

    The Jews were persecuted in Europe with a goal being exterminated as a race. That was a genocide or extinction. Many animal species become extinct every day.

    Humanity looses an important element of its diversity with extinction. If Hitler was successful it exterminating Jews then we would only read about people of Jesus Christ in books.

    So why is the Gon Demala worried about “extinction” ? There are over 60 million of them on the planet. If the Gon Demala disappears from Sri Lanka there is still far more of them elsewhere.

    There is about 2 degrees of separation between Tamils living in Tamil Nadu and the ones who live here. The difference is negligible and insignificant. The Tamil “Chankam” etc and the very foundation of Tamil civilization exists over there. No one is going to miss Tamils if they disappear from Ceylon.

    The problem did not start as this way. In order to maintain parity the Tamil leadership needed to maintain Tamil numbers. The numbers were only important as long as maintaining parity was important. The motive for keeping Tamil numbers high has somehow evolved into a campaign of preventing “genocide”.

    The situation has lead to a bizarre situation anyways.

    A small number of Sinhala fisherman camped in Mullative for seasonal fishing. The entire Nothern Provincial govt became a hive of activity. They began monitoring and intimidating the Sinhala fisherman.

    There are over 80.000 Moslem IDPs whom are being neglected from being settled there too. The Northrn P. pays scant regard to their predicament.

    Its creating a very awkward situation when Tamils should know better after their fascist episodes in the past.

    I don’t think we can go on like this. Other than Mahindapala and Izzeth the civil society is silent. Unless they wake up this will escalate yet again into street violence and someone like Mahinda Rajapakse will return to power.

    The idea that “Tamil lands” exists where Tamils maintain ethnic purity should be abhorrent and rejected outright. After what Sri Lanka went though last 60 years it becomes fundamentally necessary the Northern Province gets a multi-cultural balance.

    • 3

      Oh yes you will want all these ancient Tamil lands to become Sinhalese and Buddhist and will come up with all sorts of cock and bull stories and fairy tales invented by the Lanka web racists, who are led by a Karawa woman whose Indian Tamil ancestors were imported into the island by the Portuguese colonials. Now this person is posting articles that the Eelam Tamils who lived in the island for thousands of years do not belong but she all her rabid racist followers, largely descended from the same low caste Indian Tamil slave imports belong as they have all now converted to Buddhism/Catholicism and speak Sinhalese

  • 1

    There is some substantial conflict. GOSL must address this. My own visits found that most places formerly owned by Tamils and Muslims in the North and East have been restored but there are many parcels not in anyone’s jurisdiction: neither the Army nor the owners, whoever they be.

    BTF has a lot of support amongst the U.K. Parliamentarians (very like out here !!) so best take a hard look. Invite the U.K parliamentarians to personally make a visit.

    • 0

      “BTF has a lot of support amongst the U.K. Parliamentarians “

      Just seeming for a five man outfit of opportunist. Any one can have influence among UK parliamentarians.Pirates are a fancy and enter the House of Lords. Neither do they have of India or USA.
      UK won’t be distracted any day soon like the 2009 protest on the street.
      It’s just an internal matter now- When is UN moon visiting?? not available and he leaves office like Obama end of year.

  • 1

    Looks like either Singhalese never change or Muslims will not allow Singhalese and Tamils to live together. It is very easy to live together with good Singhalese. BTF is showing some numbers – how the people never been to North are rejecting immediately – this is what happening all the time starting from zero causality. People, grow up, why refusing to come out of the pond and see the world. Commenting about BTF is like howling towards moon, waste of your energy. West is searching land in other planets and we are trying to steal land in dry north. People life is too short, enjoy, whome you are stealing land, are you going to take if you die tomorrow -if a car hit and die tomorrow – you will only get the sound of drum and lacy pirith.

  • 0

    My take on this issue is that the Govt:is frightfully scared to move in the matter.
    Most people do also have the impression that the Army is the Govt:and the Govt:is just a part of the Army!

    Only way out is for the people living in the South,to raise their voice against this Injustice! Will they rally round?
    If they dont,the logical conclusion is that the country is under a Military Junta! Most probably the adviser is MaRa…..

    • 1


      Increasing Militarization of this island particularly the North since 1960 (courtesy weeping widow) has strengthened military’s claim to a share of political power, and they do enjoy a certain privileges which is being denied to ordinary people, impunity from from all war crimes and crimes against humanity, … a seat at the “Truth” commission that is under construction, demand special treatment in the North as well as in the South, all with impunity,

      Soon the armed forces might demand 50% of seats be allocated to them in all our democratic institutions.

      Both MS and RW will have serious problem if and when they decide to cut security budget (unproductive & waste) and number of troops.

      • 0

        Native Vedda.
        Like Buddha Burma
        “Both MS and RW will have serious problem if and when they decide to cut security budget (unproductive & waste) and number of troops.”

        Above is true.
        it means Goldman Sac’s Is going to suck the export income in the cloud (Laxmi) No default payment possible (he has already taken payment). that housing and its contingencies could end up 3 times the value if they get greedy which is happening there. He can do what nations or IMF cant do- his family grew via banks

    • 2

      It is not rocket science- they are going to mix the population and not have a ghetto.

      See how UK transfers and even Germany now.
      Southall Indian Pakistan then Somali or there is Ghetto of one- it even spreads into housing estates – mix the whole lot black white yellow brown Islam (only islam is producing and creating chaos)
      Even with whites UK is mixed so that no one ethnic or race can bring in power struggle.
      Just be happy with the residence & don’t live in the past because it would haunt and rise again to the detriment of Island, india and west.

      no ones pop owns the land.!! How did SiriMao take over land from all and sterling companies.

  • 2

    Army occupying N &E is part of the SINHALISATION which started with DS Senanayake. I am not against Sinhalese people.

  • 1

    The war against the Tamils by the Sinhalese is not over yet and that is why 130,000 armed personnel are stationed in the North. In Vali north itself 10 villages are still being occupied by the armed forces taking over all private lands and the owners are still languishing in filthy camps. Sirisena who won the presidency on Tamil and Muslim votes promised the Tamil voters that all private lands would be released. But it never happened. Democracy, rule of law and human rights are all forgotten.
    I am not certain that it is only 4561 acres of land in Jaffna under the armed forces. It is much more because the 10 villages, Part of Keerimalai, Kankesanturai,partof Maviddapuram, Oorany, Thyiddy, Myliddy north, Myliddy South, Palaly, Vasavillan, Kadduvan conists of more than that figure given by the BTF.
    TNA is very soft with the government and is not pursuing the matter forcefully unlike Mr.Vigneshwaran. Sirisena seems to be the other side of the same coin as that of Rajapaksa.


  • 2

    who owns the other 4%?
    100% of the land belongs to the Tamils

  • 0

    They are following the same devious scheme as the zionists, who have stolen lands and built illegal settlements, and are slowing annexing acres of Palestinian lands (which is condemned by the UN, the EU, the US as well, and against international laws). They took the Golan Heights by war, and are now refusing to give it back. The shrinking map of Palestine shows exactly how much they have stolen, and it looks bad.
    Didn’t the zionist play a part in advising the last regime during the war? This must be part of that so called advice. Our leaders should know better than follow a similar path.

  • 3

    There are things Gosl should do, and things Gosl shouldn’t do. Returning lands to Tamils is a thing they Should Do!

  • 0

    Garuda, Do not compare Southall with srilanka. In Southall people take mortgage and struggle and pay for many years. In srilanka government steal land from Tamils using army and give them to Singhalese and feed them for many years. They are feeding those lacy singhala people and stupid army as well. How long the government is going to feed these lacy people and Tax hardworking people – not very long and the day they stop feeding , those lacy people will runaway to their fertile villages – utter waste of time and money. If the government wanted to mix Tamils and Sinhalese, give land in Singhalese area to Tamils and feed them the same way – who you are kidding.

    • 0

      “senthil “
      I speak about life as I see it.
      (where the 3 rivers meet fertile Punjab went to war because they did not want UP Bihar to live off their sweat..the rest you know)

      Uk leads and others follow.- mixing to keep the donkey brigade away.

      Variety is the essence of life.

  • 0

    When the Sinhalese are not serious or insensitive to serious Tamil problems and issues, we are calling for action by the international players.

    This is how the 41 countries in UNHRC got involved.

    Respect all citizens as equals with dignity if you want SL to have peace, stability and progress; not for you, but for the future generations.

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