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IDPs live in their own birth place

Written By NAFSO on Saturday, August 29, 2015 | 9:59:00 AM

NAFSO meets group of displaced people in Erakkandi who's right to a land have been violated or/and disregarded by the authorities. 

These people live in a displaced camp in GS section number 04. Valeiuththu, Erakkandi. In East coast of Sri Lanka. 28 families live in "Singhala Iskole" camp. 
 They have left the village  in 1985 after killing of 16 villagers by the LTTE , including women and children who were collecting some plant materials for feed the families in near by Aanda wewa (aanda tank/Andan Kulam). After about 25 years of displacement,  they have returned to their village in 2009 after war ends. 
Some of these people have sold their lands for cheaper price and some have abandoned their lands  befor leaving for the safety of life. 
For 5 years as IDPs in a camp in their own birth place, they are fighting for land as government still have some reserve lands without any use of them.   
But the government authorities are hesitating to settle these people in a appropriate place. Since most of them earn their living through fishing and related activities, they required to be settle near to coast. 
Major part of coastal lands are targeted by hoteliers and government helping them to get establish with new business ventures. 
About 100 persons of 28 families are in imminent threat of being evacuated from the IDP camp without a place to settle down. 

National Seminar on Land Issues of Women Headed Families and IDPs in North and East

Written By NAFSO on Friday, August 14, 2015 | 7:48:00 PM

Educational workshop for NAFSO activists on Voluntary guideline on Small Scale Fisheries

National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) involved building of VG-SSF document since Bangkok conference organised by FAO on Securing Sustainable Fisheries, 13 - 17 October 2008.  Local report was prepared after consulting Fisher communities in main coastal and inland fisheries areas and conducted 3separate meetings with Coastal fishers, Fisher women and Inland fishers before finalise and submission of the local report to the FAO and Sri Lanka government on 2011.

Awareness raising campaigns were conducted among fisheries communities throughout the country during the journey to ratify by FAO in 2014 and translated the english document in to Singhala and Tamil languages.

We conducted a educational workshop From 10 to 13 August with the objectives of give a thorough knowledge on VG SSF to our district level activits to convey the message effectively to grassroots level community, and also the team drafted a hand book for the VG SSF during the 4 day program.

NAFSO hoping to publish the hand book after finalising within few weeks.


Paanama residents betrayed by the government

Written By NAFSO on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 | 12:51:00 PM

by Melani Manel Perera
Despite a new policy adopted last February, villagers have not yet been able to return home. For this reason, they filed a petition with the Human Rights Commission.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of families from the village of Paanama, in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, are still homeless. Despite a policy adopted in February by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena, residents cannot yet get their land back.
For this reason, they travelled to Colombo to file an official petition with the country’s Human Rights Commission on July 27 demanding the President’s Office do something about it.
These people lost homes, land and everything they owned on 17 July 2010, when the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had their land seized, ostensibly to develop the tourist sector. However, most of it was placed under military control as a “high security area”.
P M Bandara, a resident of Paanama, remembers what happened. "That night, some armed and masked men stormed our homes and set them on fire,” she told AsiaNews.
“I was taken. One of them ordered that petrol be poured on me so that I could be burnt alive. Luckily, I managed to break free and escape. I took refuge in Buddhist temple, a monk took my defence when they came looking for me."
"I later went to hide in the jungle,” she said. “Then, after a few hours, I returned to my home. The soldiers took me again. I was beaten and had my clothes taken, but I was left alive. The next day, we were no longer able to return to the village."
"This land are ours; this is land where we have lived for generations; this land has fed us. Here we are farmers and fishermen,” some women said as he spoke to AsiaNews.
“Instead Rajapaksa’s men threw us out like dogs, without a thought to the fact that we too are human beings. We are fed up. We do not want to suffer like this."

"All we ask is to get our land back,” they said.

HRCSL complaint filed over Panama land grabbing

Written By NAFSO on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 11:25:00 PM

A group of civil organisations today (27) filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka against the land grabbing of the Panama area.

Speaking to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’, civil activist - Chinthaka Rajapakse said that this arbitrary land grabbing being done by the Lahugala Pradeshya Secretariat is illegal and had violated the Fundamental Rights of the Panama civilians.

Also, hundreds of families who had lived in the area for generations became homeless after 1220 acres of agricultural land, forest, beach, lagoon and areas were taken over in this manner in 2010, Mr. Rajapakse said.

Upon the intervention of the President and Prime minister, the Cabinet decided on Feb. 11, 2015 to release all these land except 25 acres controlled by the Sri Lanka Air Force. However, the measure was not executed even though months have elapsed since the decision was announced, he charged.

Source: Sri Lanka Mirror

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