Mullaitivu Tamils have staged a protest against the Sri Lankan military’s continued land grabs in front of the Gotabaya Naval Camp in Vattuwagal, Mullaitivu, after officials from Colombo came to audit the land for military use.
Speaking to reporters, the leader of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, told reporters;
"While the President is scheduled to discuss Tamil issues with MPs [...] Tamils are still facing problems like lands being grabbed, Tamil monuments are being destroyed, and Buddhist temples and statues are being constructed. Our problems should be revealed to the whole world".
He was joined at the demonstration by former North Provincial Council Member Durairasa Ravikaran, Karaithuraiptu Divisional Council Member Chinnarasa Lokeswaran, Pudukudiripu Divisional Council Members Sivapatham Kuganesan, Ganapathipillai Vijayakumar, and Arumugam Johnson.
One demonstrator told journalists;
"We have been fighting against land grabs for about eight years, and we still continue to fight [...] Today we are here with the Provincial members and divisional members to fight against the Government's land grabs. [...] We will not give our lands to the Government".
More than ten investigators had come to inspect the land in one of the militarised regions of the land. Reports indicate that as many as one soldier for every two civilians in Mullaitivu. The inadequate land provisions for Tamil civilians have threatened their livelihood, as many farmers left without the resources to look after their cattle.
One protester told reporters;
“I sold everything I had and purchased this land. Now my land has been grabbed by Government. If I had my land, I could survive by cultivating and selling“.
“If they come, we will send them back”, maintained Tamil demonstrators.
“I will not leave it, will fight till I receive my 20 acres land, the Government have taken everything from me, I have nothing. I am all alone, I’m living in a rent house now. I will not allow land surveying activities to occur”
Protesters maintain that they will not allow further land surveying activities.