Sri Lanka military should immediately release the lands to the owners in Keppaapulavu. International Council of Eelam Tamil (ICET)
Tamils have lived in Keppapulavu for many centuries and it is the traditional land of their ancestors. Keppaapulavu is a village located along Nanthikkadal lagoon in Mullaiththeevu where the last stage of the genocidal war took place. The occupying SL Air Force is not willing to relocate itself from the lands of the people, even 8 years after the end of war.
Although the war ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan navy occupied the land in Keppaapulavu forcibly evicting the traditional land owners out of their homes. The main challenge of the uprooted people is regaining their livelihood. It is not possible for them to take control of their lives without gaining access to their coastal and agricultural lands. The SL navy continues to forcibly occupy their farms and agricultural lands enjoying the economic benefits while the rightful owners are destitute. The displaced children from this village have no access to any school forcing them to study in open space under the trees! It is amply clear that there is no equal protection under Sri Lankan law for the Tamils. Sri Lanka is in flagrant violation of the Articles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Sri Lanka has signed International Conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although, Sri Lanka has signed and ratified all these conventions, the government is treating Tamil children and people differently denying their basic human needs and the rights of the child.
The military has been forcing the people to resettle into alternative lands creating, the so-called ‘model-village’ as a settlement. However, this ‘model-village’ is located on a former cemetery, which is calculated to destroy the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
The displaced Keppaapulavu people, mostly women with children and elderly women, are protesting against the Sri Lanka Government and SL navy. The Tamil people have refused to move until they have confirmation that they can return to their own lands.
International Council of Ealam (ICET) is in solidarity with the rightful owners of the traditional lands. We urge all diaspora organizations to give their unstinted support to the Tamils who have been forcibly evicted from their traditional lands.
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International Council of Eelam Tamils