300 days and counting: uprooted people of Ira'naitheevu want IC to hear their plight

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 February 2018, 18:03 GMT]
The elder generation of uprooted Eezham Tamils from the SL Navy occupied Ira'nai-theevu twin islets, which lie 12 nautical miles from the coast of the mainland in Mannaar facing the Palk Bay, have again vowed to intensify their protest through sacrificing their lives after placing their predicament on the shoulders of the international community. Their continuous protest completed 300 days on Sunday. The protesters blamed SL Resettlement Ministry for repeatedly deceiving them with promises of partial resettlement.

The uprooted people from Ira'nai-theevu are staying at Ira'nai-maathaa-nakar since 1992. The locations of Ira'nai-theevu and Ira'nai-maathaa-nakar are shown in the map. [Image Courtesy: British made One Inch Map, revised in 1972 by ‘Sri Lanka’ Survey Department, Legend by TamilNet]

The occupying SL Navy was initially refusing any resettlement stating that the islets were crucial for the ‘national security’.

The 1,200 acres of lands with 190 concrete houses were home to 780 families with more than 400 years of established Catholic tradition.

Following the repeated pressure from the uprooted people, the SL Navy finally agreed in August 2017 to allow surveying of 159 acres of 1,200 acres.

The people who accompanied the surveying officials in September 2017 witnessed only 45 of their houses were having standing structures. The SL Navy has used the housing material to construct military bunkers. The SL Navy seized the islets without any battle, and the SL State cannot cite war for the destruction of the houses, the people said.

Ira'nai-theevu was having a self-sustained economy and livelihood for all its inhabitants. Now, the SL military is commercially exploiting the resources.

The uprooted people were of the opinion that Tamil parliamentarians of the ITAK have failed to even use their collaboration avenues with the SL regime in freeing their lands.

With the support of National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation (NAFSO), the uprooted people are now preparing to place their records to the international community, the determined protesters further said.

The elder generation of the protesters said they were prepared to sacrifice their lives after making the IC realise their plight.

The location of Nayinaa-theevu



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