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Forest department and STF harass Muslim farmers in Vavuniya

Residents of Cheddikulam, Vavuniya reported a tense situation last week after Sri Lankan authorities stepped up a campaign to evict Muslim farmers from the area by arresting one farmer and seizing his tractor.

The incident took place last Thursday in Suduventha Pilavu where Muslim farmers have been resisting attempts by the Sri Lankan forest department to evict them from their cultivation lands.

Tensions came to a head when STF troops arrested one farmer and seized his tractor, causing locals to confront forest department officials.

Although the Cheddikulam divisional secretary attempted to pacify the locals, locals responded that they would not stand down until the farmer and his tractor were released.

The situation escalated when further STF troops were deployed to the area.

Locals reported that cultivation workers continued to be harassed by forest department officials the following day.