Following column based on an open letter written by the writer to the President of Sri Lanka, Maithiripala Srisena
( February 15, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Please permit me to intervene on behalf of the People of Kepapulavu who are agitating for the release of their lands forcibly taken over by the Air Force several years back. They are now in the third week of their campaign having undergone hardship braving the most unfavorable weather conditions. Their children and the elders are also suffering unnecessarily. I took the trouble to visit them one night and felt the pain myself.
I am personally of the view that there is absolutely no need for the Government to with hold their lands, on which they had been living for a long time with their families and unnecessarily and unjustifiable deprived of their land, even 8 years after the end of the war. Whether one owns the land or state land alienated to them is immaterial. It may be even encroached land, but the fact that they lived on it is enough, with the Government having no right to claim it back. The matter that should now be determined is whether these lands were occupied by the claimant earlier and also whether the Government’s claim is justifiable.
In all seriousness I am asking you Your Excellency whether an Air Port is really necessary at that spot. There is one in Kilinochchi also. Do we need it? Jaffna and Vavunia could be reached in less than a hour by road. If anybody justifies the need for air port in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu, then there should be Air ports right round the Country at a distance of 20 to 30 K.m from each other. However much the Government side defends this, no right thinking person will agree to it. Above all when thousands of our people are left to starve, an Airport is too much of a luxury. Your Excellency you are acclaimed as a right thinking person internationally and surely you will not waste billions of poor people’s money on unproductive activities when thousands of our people are starving and going begging on the streets.
V.Anandasangaree, Secretary General of the TULF