Locals in Mullaitivu protested against land grab attempts by officials from Sri Lanka’s the District Land Survey Department last month, as Tamils across the North-East continue to struggle against state occupation of their land.
On June 17, officials from the District Land Survey Department arrived in the Thanduvaan area, where they attempted to demarcate privately-owned land along the A35 and A9 roads.
With the permission of the Pradeshiya Sabha in the Mullaitivu District, shops, houses and walls are being built by locals along the roads. Villagers state that the divisional secretariat had restricted the width of road boundaries to be set at 24 feet, before the Pradeshiya Sabha went on to set it at 33 feet. However, land department officials arrived and began demarcating the boundaries at 66 feet.
Villages such as Udayarkaddu and Kompavil which fall under the Pudukkudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat and villages Othiyanalai and Mezivanam villages belonging to the Oddusuddan Divisional Secretariat have been affected by this demarcation by the land department.
As official arrived, locals soon gathered and staged a demonstration in an attempt to halt the Sri Lankan encroachment.
The Sri Lankan police soon arrived, though no arrests were reported.