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Tamils in Jaffna protest against Sri Lankan military land grabs

UPDATED 1435 GMT

Protestors staged a sit in at the Jaffna Government Agent District Secretariat office in Jaffna today, demanding the Sri Lankan military halt ongoing land surveys.

The protest began after a reported attempt by the Sri Lankan military to survey 16 acres of land in Anaikottai, in the northern peninsula.

Upon hearing news of the surveying taking place, Tamil protestors, including politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), arrived at the scene.

TNA Northern Provincial Council member Balachandran Gajatheepan said the military had also attempted to seize land owned by the Sivapoomi Trust, a charity organisation that supports handicapped children. As protestors gathered, the military began videotaping the demonstration.

“Our land is our culture,” said M K Shivajilingam Northern Provincial Council member. “No Tamil citizen can tolerate his homeland being eradicated at the hands of Sinhalese Chauvinists. We will continue our fight against this. We will expose the true face of the government that is claiming to provide good governance.”