Without de-militarisation, it is not possible to achieve proper resettlement, even at the minimum standard in the military-occupied former High Security Zone in the North and in the Champoor region in the East. “The international community knows this very well. But, it intentionally avoids putting forward this as a demand,” says S. Shageevan, the deputy chairperson of the Divisional Council of Valikaamam North and the president of the welfare association of uprooted people from Valikaamam North.
The International Community has been allowing the previous and current regimes in Colombo to buy necessary “time and space” in Geneva and in New York after 2009. It was during this time Colombo transformed the former High Security Zone into a permanent military zone, he further said, urging the Tamils to focus on making the IC to act on the demand of de-militarisation.
“Even after learning bitter lessons of a failed peace process, Norway’s former Special Envoy Erik Solheim was jumping on the trampoline again and was almost authoring propaganda pieces on the so-called changes taking place in the South describing them as the wonders of the global politics. What was the message he was conveying to the IC,” Mr Shajeevan asked.
When academics were criticising the way the Norwegian role was played in the peace process in November 2011, Mr Solheim and former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were trying to paint a star-crossed picture.
“Those who removed the ‘de-militarisation’ from their drafts of the resolutions placed in Geneva should take responsibility of removing the occupying military from Valikaamam North,” the representative of the uprooted people from Valikaamam North said.
“We learn that the UN Establishment in New York is under pressure from the diplomats of the powerful countries in advocating a domestic process for investigations.”
It is at this context, the Tamils should look at the genocide resolution passed recently by the Northern Provincial Council, he said.
The current SL prime minister came to our protest in 2013 at Thellippazhai and promised that he would resettle all the people if he came to power. The SL president Maithiripala Sirisena, who came to power with the votes of Tamil-speaking people who intended to unseat Mahinda Rajapaksa, came with a 100-days programme. “All these promises have now been proved a farce at Valikaamam.”
“Tamil people have experienced a long history of deceptions by the politicians of the genocidal State in the South. The Sinhala leaders have torn apart all the agreements in the past. They have used the Sri Lankan judiciary against the aspirations of Tamil people. We have been telling the international community for a long time that the Sri Lankan State is genocidal in nature and that it cannot transform itself.”
“But, I feel that the IC has been trying to tell us the opposite. This is the real problem Tamils are facing at the moment,” Mr Shageevan told TamilNet.
“The new regime in Colombo has been waging a propaganda stating that the uprooted people in the former High Security Zone in Valikaamam would be resettled in 1,000 acres of 6,381 acres of private lands occupied by its military for 25 years.”
“But, only selected pockets of lands, surrounded by military installations are being released here and there. This is not resettlement. This is enslavement of Tamil people,” he said adding that Colombo was keeping the fertile lands for continued military use in Valikaamam North while selectively releasing unproductive pockets of lands within 9 GS divisions encapsulating the Tamil villagers with a genocidal military.
“Nobody talks about the long stretch of coastal line that remains under SL military occupation with fishing beds found nowhere in the island.”
“The outlook of the IC, which gives legitimacy to the Sri Lankan military presence in the NorthEast should change. That change should come now. The international community should take the Genocide Resolution, unanimously adopted by the Northern Provincial Council, seriously and act on it,” Mr Shajeevan said.
source: [TamilNet, Monday, 13 April 2015, 23:29 GMT]