Feature Article

Continuous street protest brings lung disease, trauma to Keappaa-pulavu families

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 23:28 GMT]
138 uprooted Eezham Tamil families from Keappaa-pulavu, situated west of Nanthik-kadal lagoon in Mullaiththeevu, have been on the street 24 hours a day for more than 5 months waging a continuous protest demanding their lands seized by the occupying SL military to be released for their resettlement. There were only attempts to contain their struggle. None of the promises have been fulfilled, the families told TamilNet in utter frustration. Most of them have become ill due to the dust from the road primarily used by the occupying military. Suffering from trauma, the families have also witnessed exploitation of their resources by the Sinhala military corporatism. 50-year-old Arumugam Velauthapillai said the occupying military, despite getting millions of rupees from Swaminathan's ministry to find alternative lands for itself, has not been prepared to release original lands, he said.



Arumugam further said he has only witnessed some relocation activity at a locality named Chooriyapuram.

The SL military seems to again disappoint the uprooted people by asking them to resettle somewhere else, the uprooted people told TamilNet on Monday.

Due to the continuous protest along the road, most of them have become ill with breathing problems. All of the protesters interviewed by TamilNet complained about lung diseases.

None of the promises by ITAK leaders and the opposition leader R. Sampanthan have been fulfilled, said 48-year-old Sarasathevy Alakarasa.

The families have been demanding 482 acres of their lands that have been seized by the SL military.

Ms Sarasathey urged diaspora Tamils to exert pressure through their governments as their protest has not given any result so far.

“We are all sick, unable to breath, and are caught up in the trauma by witnessing how our resources are being exploited by the military. We have tried everything except suicide as a form of protest,” Sarasathevy told TamilNe this week.

79-year-old mother Manonmani Kanapathippillai and 67-year-old mother Amarasingam Parameswary also described how their propterties were being exploited by the SL military on a daily basis. They witness the transportation of coconuts, fruits and fish in military vehicles for marketing outside.

Parameswary said the occupying Sinhala military has recently destroyed palm groves inside her lands.

Saraswathy said the uprooted families have been stranded without basic humanitarian assistance and Samurdhi provisions.

She further complained that it was not easy to find daily wage work anymore as machines have been replacing human labour in construction work.

If they were given back their lands, they could look after themselves with their own resources in their fertile lands located along the lagoon where they could also engage in fishing, the protesters said.

As a last effort before taking forward their protest to next level, they are sending five representatives in renewed attempt to meet the SL President Maithiripala to get a final answer, the protesters said.

The protesters blamed the ITAK, the SL government and the international community for their pathetic situation.


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