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Protestors in Jaffna demand accountability for the missing and release of land

Tamil protestors took to the streets of Jaffna today to demand the Sri Lankan government deliver accountability for their disappeared relatives, as well as release land that continues to be occupied by the military.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Nallur temple, before marching towards the United Nations office in Jaffna to hand over a petition. Protestors also marched to the District Secretariat of Jaffna and the Northern Province Governor’s office to submit further petitions calling for the release of military occupied and for Tamil political prisoners to be set free.

Participants came from a range of civil society organisations, including the National Fishermen Cooperation Movement, Federation of People missing from North and East, Movement for release of Political Prisoners, Mannar Citizen’s Group, as well as the relatives of disappeared people who continue to search for their loved ones.

The protest comes as the Sri Lankan military declared that it had released over 700 acres of land earlier this week. Villagers though state that they continue to be denied access to areas where their homes are situated.

Displaced villagers from Valikamam North also took part in the rally, who despite much publicised releases of land by the Sri Lankan military, continue to be displaced and denied access to their homes.

As the demonstrators marched with placards towards the UN office, Sri Lankan military personnel were also seen photographing participants, in an attempt to intimidate the protestors.