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‘Army prevents us from entering our own farmland,’ Vavuniya farmers lament

File photograph: The military in Tamil farmland in Vavuniya, 2018.

Tamil farmers from Thanikallu, northern Vavuniya, have complained that the army is denying them permission to enter their paddy fields. 

The reports come after the Vavuniya northern council coordination committee convened on Friday, September 18, under the leadership of K Dileepan, during which the farmers registered their concerns. 

“The ploughlands in Thanikallu and surrounding areas are hundreds of years old,” they said. “The army now denies us permission to enter our own historic lands.”

“We are subjected to a lot of pressure from the army. They are not letting us plough our lands unless we show them a permit.”

“This problem is witnessed not just in Thanikallu but also in the lands near the border areas,” the farmers added. 

“We are asked to show the permit even to enter our lands for cleansing a small shrub in our fields," they lamented. “This situation must be changed.”

This encroachment of the Sri Lankan military into the everyday life of the Tamil people reflects the growing militarisation of the Tamil homeland. 

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