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Tamil woman demands justice for land grabs at Mannar district meeting

After waiting more than five years for the return of her land after it was seized by Sri Lankan authorities, a Tamil woman in Mannar took direct action as she entered a District Coordinating Committee earlier this month and demanded immediate action.

Seevaratnam Dayalaseeli from the Murunkan Pitti area, had 15 acres of her land seized by the Sri Lankan Forest Department five years ago. Despite years of appeals through official channels, she still has not had her land returned to her.

Frustrated by the lack of accountability, Dayalaseeli interrupted a committee meeting on March 4 to bring her issue straight to the Governor of the Northern Province P. S. M. Charles. She explained amidst great hardship how she has been living with her 75-year-old mother without reliable food supply and her land remains vacated.

Dayalaseeli added she has visited and sent countless letters of appeal to multiple government offices and dignitaries, but no progress had been made. The land grab occurred when she was recovering from surgery, she added.

After the meeting, a letter of appeal was handed straight to the Governor.

She hopes that finally some progress will be made.

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