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'Give us our lands back!' - Tamils in Mannar send 5,000 postcards to Sri Lankan president demanding return of land

Tamils in Mannar have sent 5,000 postcards to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe demanding the return of their land which is currently occupied by Sri Lanka's military. 

Tamils from five divisional secretariats including Mannar, Nanaddan, Musali, Manthai West and Madhu are campaigning for the return of their lands which are being used by the military for agricultural and commercial purposes.  

Earlier this month, villagers of Isaimalaithalvu in Mannar staged a protest demanding the Nanattan Divisional Secretariat hand over 46 acres of land presently held by the Sri Lankan Forest Department.

The protest took place at the Komban Saintha Kuluam area of the Nanattan Divisional Secretariat. The protestors demanded that the 46 acres be handed to the 113 families in the Isaimalaithalvu village within that division. They also said that people from other neighbouring villagers are trespassing and illegally occupying several acres of this area, to which they demanded that authorities take necessary action. The villagers said that since they do not have a permanent place they are facing several inconveniences, with more than two families living under one roof due to this situation.

The military occupation across the North-East has led to many Tamils being displaced from their land. The number of military land grabs of Tamil lands, the erection of Buddhist viharas in Tamil and Muslim sites and the military-owned businesses operating across the Tamil homeland have substantially increased the end of the armed conflict. As a result, Tamil people’s livelihoods have been largely impaired.

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