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Let us return: Pilavu villagers' ongoing protest

On the 31st January, 84 Tamil families from Mullaitivu awaited the scheduled return of their lands, only to be turned away by the Sri Lankan air force personnel whose camp was built on the land.

The families of Pilavu village in Keppapilavu, owners of around 20 acres of occupied land, commenced a protest outside the air force camp, announcing they would stay there until they were given access to their properties.

In 2009, residents of Keppapilavu were forcibly displaced when the military took control of the area and most were sent to the infamous Menik Farm in Vavuniya. After 3 long years and numerous petitions and protests, villagers in Keppapilavu were finally relocated, among the last to close out the Menik Farm camp.

However, the relocation of the residents itself was a highly criticized move, as the government for the first but not the last time falsely promised the villagers that they would be moved back to their own lands. Instead, villagers were relocated to a “Model Resettlement Village” in the area of Sooripuram. 

Special features

“We will not move from here until we get our land back”: from inside the Pilavu protest -13 Feb

In-depth analysis of the significance of the protests by Dharsha Jegatheeswaran and Mario Arulthas from Adayaalam and PEARL.

Daily updates

President will return land assures TNA Sampanthan - 28 Feb 

Pilavu day 19 -18 Feb

Pilavu day 18: 'trespassers will be shot' -17 Feb

Pilavu day 17: protestors under surveillance -16 Feb

Pilavu protestors stay put despite presidential pledge (day 16) -15 Feb

NPC urges Sri Lankan president to resolve Pilavu land issues -14 Feb


Solidarity protests and support

Mannar IDPs support call for land return in Keppapilavu - 27 Feb 

Schoolchildren across North protest in solidarity with Pilavu -20 Feb

Civil Society Organizations support Keppapilavu Protest -17 Feb

Kilinochchi business owners protest in solidarity with Pilavu -17 Feb

Eastern University students protest in solidarity with Pilavu -13 Feb

Vavuniya demonstration in solidarity with Mullaitivu land protests -10 Feb