28 October, 2020

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Resettlement: My Negative Thoughts

By C.V. Wigneswaran

C.V. Wigneswaran

C.V. Wigneswaran

As soon as the War was over, steps should have been taken for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) which is an integral part of post conflict peace consolidation.

Your Excellency the President, Hon’ Ministers, distinguished guests High Officials of Government and the Military, my dear brothers and sisters.

It is indeed a happy occasion for us. The return of even one acre of land to the owners by those who are not entitled to hold on to it, is to be welcomed. There is a wrong perception among the Military that lands captured from the Militants could be kept by them. This is a phenomenon to be expected when one country invades another country. As far as Sri Lanka was concerned the writ of the Government ran across this country continuously since all Government officials were paid and are still being paid by the Sri Lankan Government.

The war was only an insurrection, an uprising within the same Country. Therefore when the war is over the Army is expected give back the land captured by them to their People. They cannot point to the Militants to enable them to continue to hold on to any property without handing them over to the legitimate owners. What is to be done with Militant owned lands has to be decided by Civil authorities and not by the Military. Any attempt by the Military to hold on to such land would create the perception among our people that they are being held forcibly by an Occupational army. The Sinhalese would then be continued to be looked upon as aliens who have taken forcibly taken possession of their traditional lands. This could never lead to reconciliation.

As soon as the War was over, steps should have been taken for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) which is an integral part of post conflict peace consolidation.

We are glad though very slow, steps are being directed in the correct direction. We had a professional soldier in Commander Udhaya Perera earlier and I have no doubt the new Commander Mahesh Senanayake is an equally sound professional Commander.

The Tamil people have always respected professionalism whenever and whereever found. It was such recognition that made them vote for Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka in his election against Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. I am glad the Field Marshall has called for an International Inquiry into the War Crimes.

While welcoming His Excellency and all the other distinguished guests let me take this opportunity to mention here that every person displaced because of the war must be allowed to get back to his/her land, trade, profession or means of livelihood. That is sacrosanct. Expansion of Airport and Habour should come in after every one of our people are placed back in their areas.

The Myliddy natural habour was second only to the Mirissa fishing habour in the South. The fishermen in Myliddy are clamouring to get back to their original means of livelihood for centuries – fishing.

I believe our President a little while ago would have inspected the houses put up by a French Company in Tellipalai and Kopay. Even though our Minister Swaminathan feeling is that my views may be negative, at least at this last minute even, let me say that such houses are not suited for our people.

They do not suit our climate, our environment, our culture, our way of life and are exorbitantly expensive. When compared with other houses we could build up to 2 – 3 houses with the money spent for each such house. Houses with furniture, TVs, Solar Panels and Gas cylinders would create a new elite among the IDPs being resettled.

Repairs to these houses cannot be under taken immediately due to the type of prefabricated materials used in building these houses. Gas cylinders are being given but the Gas has to be purchased out of their own money. How many of them could afford to buy them? If they cannot use the Gas cylinders and they try to go back to their traditional ways of cooking there would be many negative consequences in a building of the nature built.

Our engineers have inspected these buildings and given reports which are not favourable.

It would therefore be prudent to reconsider the construction of 65 000 houses building program as formulated in the present manner. Hope I have not exceeded my time limit. Thank you to all of you.

*Address by Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran – 12 March 2016

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Former IDP.

    LISTEN.
    I have experience!~

    This is not the time for dialectics!

    Give,those people a decent shelter;
    Donor driven is the way out!
    All those folks who are clamouring otherwise,is for their own selfish needs!

  • 0
    0

    Dr RN (March 15, 2016 at 8:50 am)
    I have made some inquiries regarding the objections to these houses.

    Dr RN (March 16, 2016 at 8:50 am)
    Should I reveal my sources of information? Is it relevant? I did not definitely appoint a commission of inquiry! I have pointed out a very likely possibility…

    Mashallah for such authenticity of information.

    Former IDP
    I agree with you very much.
    The problem is that nobody looks at the problem but comments on the basis of who did or said something.
    With rare exception Tamil leadership, NGOs and government officials bother to look at the solution from the user’s point of view.
    This is true of everything from housing to the national question.

  • 1
    0

    Former IDP
    (correction)
    I agree with you very much. The problem is that nobody looks at the problem but comments on the basis of who did or said something.
    With rare exceptions, the Tamil leadership, NGOs and government officials DO NOT bother to look at the solution from the user’s point of view. This is true of everything from housing to the national question.

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