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Sri Lankan military displaces Tamils to make way for holiday resort

Tamils in Jaffna are living in slums whilst the Sri Lankan military runs a luxury holiday resort on land seized from them, reports the BBC.

More than 200 people, which includes 58 families, were driven from their homes to make way for the "Thalasevana Holiday Resort” inside the Valikamam North High Security Zone, reports BBC South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt.

Speaking to the BBC, one of the displaced villagers Julius Selvamalar said: "We are forced to live like refugees in this slum. It is like living in hell. I had to bring up my children here".

“I don’t think we will ever get our land back,” she continued.

Just last month, the Sri Lankan army was engaged in fortifying the Valikaamam North High Security Zone, despite previous government statements that the area of land would be released back to the local civilian population.

Meanwhile Sri Lankan Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweeratold the BBC, the resort was a "welfare project of the army for the army personnel".

In 2012, the military announced it had built a holiday resort on the shores of the Nanthikadal Lagoon where hundreds of thousands of Tamils were attacked by the Sri Lankan military in 2009. Tens of thousands were massacred, mostly by government shells.

The move was part of a campaign launched by the military, to build holiday resorts across the island.

Also see our earlier posts:

Army opens yet another holiday resort in Jaffna
 (11 Jan 2012) 

Army launches resort company brand (09 Nov 2012)

Army builds hotel on shores of Nanthikadal Lagoon (26 Dec 2012)

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