Locals in Mullaitivu managed to block Sri Lankan authorities from yet another land grab attempt as they looked to expand the existing 'Vattuvakal Gotabaya Navy base' by seizing 617 acres of private land.
As Sri Lanka land survey officials arrived, local land owners and politicians staged a demonstration earlier this morning.
Sri Lankan police officers, some armed with tear gas guns and other heavy equipment had gathered. Other officers began to photograph the local Tamils present, in yet another act of intimidation.
These tactics are not new, following a long pattern of surveillance and intimidation by the Sri Lankan security forces. In June, as Tamils blocked yet another attempt at expanding the same camp, local journalist K Kumanan was harassed and grabbed by police officers and navy troops.
As Sri Lankan police officers looked on, eventually the land survey officials were forced to abandon their attempt at seizing the land yet again.
The latest attempt was the latest in a series of regular land grab attempts by the state in the area, after 617 acres of private land were gazetted in 2017 for appropriation for the expansion of the 'Vattuvakal Gotabaya Navy base'.
Tamil land in the North-East continues to be seized for military purposes, despite over thirteen years having passed since the end of the armed conflict, with Tamil residents continuing to face intimidation and displacement.