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Sri Lankan military continues to ban Tamil villagers from entering their own land

The Sri Lankan army and forestry department has continued its ban on Tamil villagers of North Nedungeeni Vedivaithakal in Vavuniya from entering the village. 

Although residents in the area have proof of their lands, the army has set up camp in the village and continues to prevent people from entering the area. Some 15 families who attempted to clear their own land to relocate there using a permit from the Divisional Secretary, were denied entry by the army and the forestry department. 

The villagers have stated that they have not received justice to date, despite the fact that the army continues to ban the entry of civilians into the area since 2015. When they appealed to the Vavuniya District Development Committee Chairman and MP Dileepan, they were told that a proper solution would be found.

Due to the presence of the Amman Temple in the area, the people of the area were temporarily and under various conditions allowed to clean the temple premises to hold the annual Panguni festival on 11 March 2021.  

Last year, Tamil farmers from Thanikallu, northern Vavuniya, had also complained that the army was denying them permission to enter their paddy fields. The upsurge in such encroachment of the Sri Lankan military into the everyday life of the Tamil people reflects the growing militarisation on the Tamil homeland. 

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