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Land return activist’s field confiscated by Sri Lankan air force in apparent reprisal

The land of a civil society activist who led land-return protests in Mullaitivu has been confiscated by the Sri Lankan Air Force.

Mrs S Chandraleela heads a local women’s organisation and has been at the forefront of protests demanding the release of land in Pilakudiyirippu and now Keppapulavu.

Her agricultural land which was released two years ago was today confiscated by Sri Lankan Air Force personnel. Mrs Chandraleela and some workers who have been clearing and fixing up the field for cultivation were barred from entering by Air Force personnel who claimed the land belonged to the Forestry Department.

Although a land deed proving it was Mrs Chandraleela’s land was produced, and forestry department officials came and also attested to it, the Air Force still refused to release the field.

Mrs Chandraleela told Tamil Guardian she believes the Air Force personnel were acting in reprisal for her role in the protests, as this has occured solely on her land and no other surrounding lands.

After supporting the families of Pilakudiyirippu, Mrs Chandraleela has continued protesting for the release of her own home in Keppapulavu.