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Formal complaint filed to prevent Sri Lankan military land grabs in Mullaitivu

Former Tamil National Alliance MP S Sivamohan has issued a complaint letter with the Mullaitivu District’s election office and the Mullaitivu District Secretary, requesting them to take immediate action to stop the Sri Lankan military seizing private land.

After issuing the letter, Sivamohan told reporters, 

“It has come to our attention that attempts are being made by the Sri Lankan Army to take possession of lands which Tamil people have for many years been occupying, and lands which have been requested to be released from the Forest Department.”

He said that he has filed a complaint letter which stresses that the Army should be banned from exploiting this election period, during which parliament has been dissolved and district representatives have lost their official designation, precluding them from challenging these unlawful actions. 

Sivamohan went on to state that the Sri Lankan military is taking this course of action deliberately to portray the representatives of the Tamil districts as incompetent and to oppress the Tamil people. The new quarantine laws are being used to their advantage, namely by preventing any protests against the army from happening, he added. 

He further reported that the Forest Department has been supporting this plan by sending officers to villages to ask people to identify lands. The Forest Department has also failed to give back grabbed lands to Tamil people despite many of their previous pleas. Instead, they are offering these lands to the military, he added. 

“Mullaitivu District is among the most severely impacted. This has been happening in all Divisional Secretariats, apart from in Welioya, (a Sinhalese settlement area in Mullaitivu District),” he told journalists.

The former parliamentarian said that a copy of the complaint letter has also been sent to the Government Agent (GA) in the hope that he would order the land-grabbing process to be stopped. “In the event that no action is taken, we will initiate a court action against the government agent (GA) and the Elections office for breaking electoral laws,” he added.

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