On 5th August the US boasted to the world regarding landing ‘Curiosity’, NASA's most advanced planetary rover on the Martian surface. Of course, US had reasons for its boasts. Rajapaksa regime too prepared a media pageant on 25th September that was not second to the one by the US. It was to announce that all those who had been displaced by the war have been resettled.
The President himself said, at the state ceremony held after three years of the end of the war, that no country had completed such a resettlement process in such a short time. As it was not a mere media announcement but was pompously proclaimed at a state ceremony no one expected it to be a lie. As the issue of the displaced is a topic that the government confronted in many an international forum and the government had pledged that measures would be taken to resettle the displaced in their villages, it was felt this step was the end of the process. Also, the government is scheduled to participate at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review in Geneva from 22nd October to 5th November 2012.
It is under such circumstance that it was said there were no displaced in Sri Lanka at present. On the 25th last month Menik Farm in Vavuniya and Settikulam Camp were closed down and more than thousand persons belonging to 361 families were resettled. However, it has been revealed that the display was not for grandeur but for tawdriness. According to what has been revealed the displaced have been resettled not in villages they expected to be settled. What is serious is that about 110 families that were in Menik Farm have been abandoned in a newly cleared jungle in Seenimottai. They were residents of Keppapilavu village in Mullaithivu. They have been abandoned in Seenimottai against their will which means they had been taken their arbitrarily.
Now the government could forward false information at international forums. Those representatives could be deceived for a short time. The government not only deceives the international community but also tells lies to the masses of this country. The government does not have any official explanation regarding abandoning these families in the jungle and for not resettling them in their former village. However, it is known that the area is being used by the Army. There is no statement regarding why this village is so important for security that the Army cannot give it back to the original residents. Now, these villagers have been forced to start a new life in a newly bulldozed jungle with a few pots and pans, a few logs of timber and several roofing sheets without water, electricity, roads or sanitation.
The issue of the forced re-settlers at Seenimottai is only one profile of the injustice. The government had announced owners of abandoned vehicles and other debris at Wellamulli Waikkal to take them away. However, those who went there found that they had been invited not for the process that had been announced. It was an attempt not to hand over but to take over and to get beaten when trying to show the injustice of the act.
The issue confronted by residents in Krishnapuram and Malayalapuram in Killinochchi is different. Their paddy lands have been taken over by Civil Defense Corps and are being bulldozed stating it is for their training facilities. The farmers who are being denied their paddy lands as well as masses in this country cannot understand what urgent training affairs have to be carried out by filling paddy lands now that the war has been ended!
These are people who have had to move as refugees from place to place for more than two decades. They are people who were used as human shields by the LTTE and were forced to be targets for shell attacks by the Army. They are masses who were forced by the horrendous war to become widows; they are parents who have lost their children; those who lost all their life time earnings in one night and forced to become paupers. It is true that a price cannot be determined for lost lives. However, they have not been paid any compensation for the properties that have been seized. The minimum they ask is to recognize the basic requirements for them to live as human beings; they ask for human dignity the government has failed to recognize and to accept them as citizens of this country.
The tears that flow from their eyes tell us more. They ask the government not to decide where they should live according to the agenda of the UNHRC and not to make them an excuse for imperialists to intervene in Sri Lanka.