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Keppapulavu families commence third year of protest against military occupation

Displaced families from Keppapulavu marked the start of their third year of continuous protest on Friday, campaigning for their homes to released from military occupation. 

Marking the anniversary, families held an awareness protest calling for international action to secure the release of their lands. 

Although almost ten years have passed since the end of the armed conflict the Sri Lankan military continues to control and occupy vast swathes of land in the Tamil homeland, forcing families to remain displaced.

Keppapulavu families began their prolonged campaign for their homes in March 2017. The campaign, which has seen widespread support among Tamils across the North-East and diaspora worldwide, has reached out to several international bodies, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Keppapulavu families continue protest for land in front of army camp

On January 28, residents of Keppapulavu intensified their campaign to have their lands released from Sri Lankan army occupation, getting as close to the camp and their lands as possible while military personnel and police were deployed to hold them back. 

In October, the president, Maithripala Sirisena promised to ensure all occupied land in the North-East would be released by December 31, 2018. Following this unfulfilled deadline, families attempted to enter the army camp on their lands on January 1, however faced dozens of police officers halting the entry.