By Mirudhula Thambiah
Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran asked recently whether it was the security forces that were given first priority in the process of land resettlement for internally displaced persons.
He suspected the military and government were in fact agreed on this issue.
“The government announced action to resettle IDPs from Valikamam North within three weeks. But after the passage of one full month the people are yet to be resettled in their own lands. This makes us doubt that the people will be immediately resettled,” he said.
He added that even recently several people had been allowed to visit their lands in Ottakapulam, Vasavilan, Thenmoolai and Vadamoolai , but they were shocked to find security personnel in the area.
They still occupy these places and it’s not conducive to resettle the people there just yet. Although 260 families visited their old homes, lands were released to only 22 families.
Wigneswaran and aides visited these places and had discussions with the people and religious leaders about solutions to their problems after several disgruntled IDPs submitted a petition seeking his intervention to settle their resettlement issues.
“The release of lands for resettlement is not being handled satisfactorily. We wonder whether it’s the government or the security forces which are responsible for this impasse. There are no access roads to these lands. It’s very unfair that the people are being subjected to this situation especially when they return to their homesteads after so many long years with such great anticipation” he said.
He also said that the Northern Provincial Council would not hesitate to reveal the truth to the international community if the government deceives the people with false promises.” “We are collecting more data on how people should be resettled immediately along with basic amenities” he added.