18 November, 2018

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Release All Lands Held By Army: TNA Tells President

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) complained to President Maithripala Sirisena that despite nine years having passed since the war ended, the armed forces continue to occupy agricultural and residential lands.

The TNA made this observation at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Development of the North and East yesterday (27th) at the Presidential Secretariat. Several ministers, government MPs and all TNA parliamentarians attended the meeting which was presided over by Sirisena.

The TNA, responding to the President’s claim that 88% of the land held by the Army when his government assumed office had already been released, pointed out that 75 acres of private land in Keppapilavu, Mullaitivu, was still held by the Army and discussions with the President and high ranking Army officials had not met with any success.

The TNA delegation also claimed that people were ‘greatly harassed by the actions of the Forest Department, Wildlife Department and the Archeological Department’.

According to a media statement released by the party, ‘the Forest Department and the Wildlife Department are planting boundary stones and taking possession of lands that had been abandoned by people during the war and which had thereafter gone to jungle’.

They called for a meeting attended by the heads of the above three departments, the Land Commissioner, and the Government Agents of the districts in the North and East to address this issue and resolve the aforesaid problems of the people.

The full text of the media release is given below:

The Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Development of the North and East took place yesterday (27.08.2018) at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting was presided over by His Excellency the President. Several ministers and government members of Parliament and Government Officials participated at the meeting. All the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Members of Parliament headed by Hon R Sampanthan the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, including Hon Mavai Senathirajah Leader of the ITAK, Hon Selvam Adaikkalanathan Leader of the TELO and Hon Tharmaligham Siddarthan Leader of the PLOTE and all other district Parliamentarians other than Hon M.A. Sumanthiran Jaffna District, and Hon. Sivashakthi Ananthan Vanni District were present. Mr. Sumanthiran is out of the country. 

Mr. Sampanthan Thanked the President for inviting the TNA to the meeting and stated that he would raise some fundamental issues. He stated, that 16 out of the 18 Tamil members of Parliament from the North and East are from the TNA and the TNA has more members from the North and East in Parliament than all other political parties put together. The democratic verdict of the people of the North and East should be respected. 

He further stated, the Tamil people were very badly affected by the devastation and the destructions that occurred during the war. 

His excellency the President stated that 88% of land held by the army when his Government assumed office has been released. 

But the fact remains even 9 years after the conclusion of the war both agricultural land and residential land lands yet continue to be in the possession of the armed forces. One glaring instance was Keppapilavu in Mullaitivu district. Where 75 acres of private land owned and possessed by local people for generations and centuries was yet held by the army. This mater has been discussed with both the President and army high-up’s several times. 

For there to be reconciliation and national integration all land belonging to the people which are now in the possession of the armed forces should be released without any further delay. 

The people are also being greatly harassed by the actions of the Forest Department, Wildlife Department and the Archeological Department. People had been displaced from their land as a result of the war for several decades and the land is now grown with jungle. The Forest Department and the Wildlife Department are planting boundary stones and taking possession of these lands. Actions of the Archeological department are also causing harassment to the Tamil People. 

Tamil people have not been issued permits for lands possessed by them for several decades. A meeting should be convened attended by the heads of the above three departments, the Land Commissioner, and the Government Agents of the districts in the North and East to address this issue and resolve the aforesaid problems of the people. 

People were unable to receive various benefits for development of their lands because they are not yet been issued with permits for the lands possessed by them. This issue must be addressed at the earliest. 

 A serious situation pertaining to land prevails in the Mullaitivu District. A new system described as system “L” was proclaimed under the Mahaweli Act in the 1980s, even before any water from the mahaweli came to that area. This was where a settlement known as “Welioya” or “Manalaaru” was created in that area comprising of persons from other districts of the country. Consequent to protests the programme was in suspension for some time. During the term of the previous government some further settlement of persons from outside took place in this area. There are numerous complains that the programme is thought to be renewed now and that there is a proposal to settle persons from outside of Mullaitivu in these lands. 

Mr. Sampanthan stated that this should not be allowed. If water was brought to Mullaitivu from outside land in Mullaitivu without irrigation facilities should receive irrigation facilities and the people who own and cultivate the lands should be the beneficiaries. Landless people in Mullaitivu entitled to receive state lands must be also be beneficiaries under such a program. The President immediately contacted some authority by telephone and gave the assurance that no such program would be implemented and that he himself would visit the area with the TNA members of Parliament and ascertain the correct position. 

Mr Sampanthna also refer to the discrimination against Tamil youth in employment in the public sector. He said that Sinhalese ministers were looking after the Sinhalese youth and Muslim ministers were looking after Muslim youth only negligible number of Tamil youth receives employment through some ministries and grave injustice is being perpetrated on Tamil youth both males and females.  Such action will not lead to reconciliation or national integration. It is necessary to address this issue as an urgent issue. 

Mr. Sampanthan also emphasized that the political resolution to the national question through the enactment of a New Constitution is fundamental to national integration and reconciliation. There could be no reconciliation or national integration until there is a political resolution to the national question. 

Mr Sampanthan stated that since the enactment of the 13th amendment to the Constitution much work has been done by successive Governments and presidents to formulate an acceptable solution. During President Premadas’s time there was the Mangala Munasinghe select committee proposal, during president Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumarathungaka’s time there was the August 2000 proposal, during President Mahinda Rajapaksha’s time there was the APRC proposal proposed by the chairman of the committee Prof. Tissa Vitharana. Much work had been done and much consensus has been reached through these proposals. It is fundamental that there has to be an acceptable political resolution to the national question within the framework of an undivided indivisible Sri Lanka, if there is to be reconciliation and national integration. 

Regarding the development in the North and East Mr Sampanthan said, that the following areas could be identified as important sectors. 

  1. Agriculture
  2. Industries 
  3. Fisheries
  4. Livestock development 
  5. Housing
  6. Main Roads
  7. Major Irrigation 
  8. Health 
  9. Education 
  10. Generation of Employment 

Mr Sampanthan also urged that the private sector should be involved in such development with export promotion being actively encouraged. All other TNA members of Parliament from all districts also expressed their views and participated in the proceedings. 

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Latest comments

  • 11
    8

    Dear Sampanthan,
    It is no point in repeating the same points again and again. Sinhalese politicians are not going to listen to what you say. They will do what they want and it is time for TNA to give up double game politics. TNA should understand that Genocide of Tamils is the overall objective of Sinhalese politics.

    • 11
      2

      Ajith:
      If the north is to get back on its own then all land should be returned to the rightful owners and at the same time the military should get out of civilian businesses from agriculture, construction to tourism.
      No one want to and cannot get ahead in business in the current environment. Its not a level playing field, salaries and accommodation for the military is subsidized by the state and they are running businesses which the locals should be doing.

      • 7
        0

        Ajith:
        Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean is being Militarized against China by US. Trump-land has invented the “Indo-Pacific” recently and is right now sponsoring a meeting on the Indian Ocean (where its puppet Bondscam Ranil Wickramasinghe_, spoke in Vietnam which is NOT an Indian Ocean Country! Strange indeed.
        The military-business model of post war development was started by US Citizen Gota who also priviatized part of SL Navy as Avant Guard on the bidding of his Washignton and LA handlers.
        TNA and Tamils should protest outside US embassy and ask it to stop all the (Fake) Aid it is giving the SL military and Navy– to occupy Tamil’s lands, while bullshitting about Human Rights in Geneva.
        US is sending its Marines “Pacific Angels” (Ha, Ha, Ha) to do Fake Humanitarin Operations and Disaster prepardness in Indian Ocean Hub (hah), when US is causing the disaster of Militarization of Lanka Indian Ocean and supporting the Lankan military to occupy civilian Lands in post-war northeast, while weaponizing religion – by promoting Buddhist and Muslim clashes to protect its puppets – both, Bondscam Ranil Wickramasinghe and Gota Jarapassa.

      • 7
        1

        You are hundred percent right. The policy of Sinhala governments is simply to eliminate Tamils & Muslims from this island since 1948 through Sinhalization of North East through fake devt. policies, violence and dividing Tamils and Muslims. They were very focused but Tamil and Muslim politicians do not have a strategy to resist the Sinhalization of North East.

    • 1
      1

      The Tamil National Alliance (TNA),

      RE: Release All Lands Held By Army: TNA Tells President

      What about the Muslims and Sinhala were were ethnically cleansed by the Tamil, LTTE, be allowed to return to their former homes and lands?

      Shouldn’t the state hold on to the lands until justice is done to those who were ethically clensed?

      • 0
        0

        Amarasiri:
        “Release All Lands Held By Army: TNA Tells President”
        Which part of the above, don’t you understand?
        TNA is not saying “Release Tamil Land”. If the land belonged to the Muslims or Sinhalese they would be the rightful owners and released to them and don’t see a reason why they cannot return.

  • 5
    6

    Army is the punching bag of everybody beczause they do not make political statement. Right now TNA doe snot like wogneswaran beczause Wiggy with his Tribalism may grab Tamil votes. TNA is very unpopular with Tamils and only people who ask anything Sambanthan are Sinhala people. Besides, if Delimitation works fair and not the for protestants or not for the west who want some proviomcial councils to providee them with military camps, 16 members should go below 4 members. So, TNA is with the govt. If wigneswaran and vijayakala win it, He goes with Rajapakses

  • 10
    0

    Sirisena and Sampanthan are getting the scripts ready for the forthcoming NPC and Presidential Elections. But the people are sick and tired of these stale dramas. They know these corrupt politicians will never get their act together.

    • 6
      1

      Ajay
      You are right. People are fed-up with the current politicians who sit in Colombo and decide what the people want. There is no dispute that they are dumping money but not for what people really want.
      At least provincially TNA is going to be history as people have lost confidence in them.

  • 1
    9

    Recently, there was a festival in the Nallur Temple. I heard with the devotees, some Sputh Indian migrents also czame to settle in Wanni. So, eventually, they will become war dispalced and the army has to vacate in order to provide lands. Some how, there is a smuggling of Tamils in to North is going on and TNA has to ask for lands.

    • 8
      0

      Dimwit:
      You post regularly so I assume you can read English: but can you understand what you read? You keep writing crap.
      People are asking for their own land which the govt has taken and the army has occupied for over thirty years without any form of compensation.

  • 8
    0

    “even 9 years after the conclusion of the war both agricultural land and residential land yet continue to be in the possession of the armed forces”. This is not fair. Anyone in the South can put themselves in the same situation and see how it feels. The armed forces should be gradually reduced from the North so as not to create a Law and Order vacuum that may get filled up by gangs and underworld to the detriment of the people in the North.

  • 0
    10

    Acquire 50% of land in north & settle Sinhalese & Muslims and acquire equal or more than equal number of land from other areas & settle Tamils from North.

    Opportunity minded, trouble making Tamil politicians must be taught a good lesson.

    We should not be afraid of India, the naughty neighbor.

  • 1
    10

    How can we release all land held by the our war heroes to be released back to the terrorists. we had a war, we won, we keep the land. now it is our land. if you want it have a war and take it from us. but you wont win a war again.

    • 8
      0

      Jim “Soft in the head”
      Do you understand what you are trying to say ? A primary school kid can think better than you.

      • 6
        0

        Steve:
        I don’t think Jim the Dimwit has a proper grasp of English. He is writing for the sake of writing.
        Stupidity is not a crime : you can only feel sorry for him.

    • 3
      0

      jim softy “we had a war, we won, we keep the land. now it is our land.”

      now the penny drops. you had war with another country (Eelam) and won?

    • 2
      1

      Softy,
      You didn’t win the war. India and America won the war. But it is China getting the land and they are going to keep it.

      But let’s look at the history. From the time Mahawamsa started to keep records, TN labor did all the jobs. Kerala and TN mercenaries fought all the wars. Even the Sigiriya art works came from North. When European captured they brought TN workers for Cinnamon peeling to tea plucking. They employed Ceylon Tamils to do administration. Only in one occasion Portuguese used Sinhala Mercenaries to dislodge Jaffna Kingdom from Sangliyan. Then voluntarily Sinhala troops worked with British to capture Kandy’s Tamil king. Once the island captured, it was Tamils started to provide the labor. They even went to Malaysia and worked for Malaysia & Singapore with British and the Chinese. Then Singapore Chinese voluntarily accepted Ceylon Tamils for labor. After Chinese settle in Ceylon like Singapore and democratize the ruling, it will be Tamils who will be again dominant in supplying labor. You are not going to have the land. Ehelepola leased Ceylon to Britain for 200 years that time. Now Ranil leased Xī lán to China for 200 years and lifted the check he received in the air and showed proudly to TV audience.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy.

      Now it is our land. if you want it have a war and take it from us. but you wont win a war again.

      They dont want war they will cut a tunnel form let to right from the sea horizontally water to run left to right the land will be separated.the diversity which will marginalize no we want win Failure is a opportunity to begin bright ideas.

  • 0
    1

    TNA uncles,
    ¤
    “75 acres of private land in Keppapilavu, Mullaitivu, was still held by the Army and discussions with the President and high ranking Army officials had not met with any success.”
    ¤
    Was this the main issue you took up at the meeting?
    ¤
    “The TNA delegation also claimed that people were ‘greatly harassed by the actions of the Forest Department, Wildlife Department and the Archeological Department’.”
    ¤
    Illegal sand mining, felling of trees and other destructive activities of the “people” have become more difficult?
    ¤
    You will loose the elections.

  • 2
    1

    Mr Sampa,
    ¤
    “also refer to the discrimination against Tamil youth in employment in the public sector. He said that Sinhalese ministers were looking after the Sinhalese youth and Muslim ministers were looking after Muslim youth only negligible number of Tamil youth receives employment through some ministries and grave injustice is being perpetrated on Tamil youth both males and females. Such action will not lead to reconciliation or national integration. It is necessary to address this issue as an urgent issue. “
    ¤
    Should not all recruitment be based on merit not on who you know?

  • 3
    0

    Remember the Matale mass grave? The then GoSL was embarrassed that someone forgot the location.
    The Lankan Armed Services know certain ghostly locations N&E. Surely you cannot expect them to give up!

  • 2
    6

    50% of Tamils currently living in the north are immigrated from India after the war. they want to claim the land saying they are affected by the war. the land that was captured by the soldiers are ours because we won the war. Sinhalese should be settled in that land because technically this is our land

    • 4
      0

      Dimwit:
      I knew you had a very poor ability to comprehend what you read in English but now it shows that your no better in arithmetic either. LOL math’s should be out of the question.

      What the hell do you do for a living? Don’t tell me your in the same profession as Champa.

  • 0
    0

    quite a lot of the problems mentioned by the TNA here would be solved if sampanthan just asks the president to devolve the land powers as per the 13th amendment already in the constitution.Why is he not doing that?To show he does not like the 13th and wants more.Don’t you climb a ladder one step at a time?Otherwise won’t you fall down with the ladder?Geriatric fool.

    • 2
      0

      shankar:
      He does not want more but it is the govt of Sri Lanka under Rajapaksa that promised more.

      The Hindu – March 26, 2011

      “Sri Lanka told India it would implement a devolution plan for Tamil areas going beyond the 13th Amendment to its Constitution, but Indian officials were privately sceptical of the assurance.

      Several U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks reveal that India pushed Sri Lanka on its devolution plans for months before the conclusion of the military operation against the LTTE.

      The cables also reveal that the U.S. sought a bigger role in pushing a political solution for Tamils but was kept at bay by India.

      As the military operations were drawing to a close, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told the U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Peter Burleigh on May 15, 2009 that the Sri Lankan government had reassured India that “the government would focus on the implementation of the 13th Amendment Plus as soon as possible.”

      • 0
        0

        burt

        rajapakshe after the war said what he meant by plus was a senate.

        Anyway sampu is the only one who can match mahinda in longevity in politics He knows about sinhala politicians and their false promises in and out.He is just pretending he does not and is playing an elaborate game to satisfy the international community which supports this government and is buying time for it.Without wasting time on the plus that will never be given just concentrate on getting what has already been given implemented.After that can see about the plus.The tamils are been taken for a ride again by their politicians as usual.

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