V. Anandasangaree, D. Sitharthan and T. Sritharan met the Indian Delegation at the India House on 11th Saturday at 11.30 hrs and the TULF Leader submitted a memorandum, the contents of which are as follows:-
Without allowing things to go out of control, the delegates should explore the possibilities of persuading the Government to agree to the demands of the minorities some of which are enumerated below:-
1. The first and foremost priority of all issues is, as you all know, to find a solution to the ethnic problem. Apart from several other proposals put forward by various authorities, my suggestion to adopt the Indian Model which has received wide acceptance, also could be considered as a satisfactory solution. A Unitary constitution will never be accepted although the Government is very firm on that stand.
2. The People of the North and the East do not wish to be under any Subjugation, which they have already undergone for more than 25 years. De-militarization should start forthwith. With so much of publicity given in the report to the atrocities of the army personnel and the LTTE cadre, people are terrified over the presence of the army in every nook and corner of the North and the East. The most that the people could be persuaded to accept is to barrack them in the Camps that were in existence before the CFA was signed. All Camps newly opened during the war and after numbering several hundreds should be closed down. They are now engaged in constructing houses for themselves and approach roads to the settlements encroaching, in some areas, in to lands belonging to the people.
3. Several Hundreds of youths have been detained for trivial offences without trials for many years under the PTA. They should be either released immediately or be brought to courts for trials.
4. Thousands of innocent youths who had voluntarily surrendered at the request of the government and were promised to be released in a very short time are branded as LTTE cadres and are detained in rehabilitation camps. Bring to trial the few who have involvements and release the remaining thousands of innocent ones unconditionally.
5. Every IDP should be allowed to get into the land which he/she claims as his or hers. Only in the event of a dispute between two or more claimants, Civil officials should intervene to settle the dispute. This should apply even to lands that are now held by the army as coming under the High Security Zone and also those lands the LTTE compulsorily took over with or without any payments.
6. Even now it is not late for the Government to collect details of people lost or gone missing and details of their properties both moveable and immoveable.
7. The Government should be persuaded to abandon the idea of constructing houses for the Army in Kilinochchi or in any part of the North and the East to avoid new problems, as it will also be construed as the government is trying to keep the Tamil People under permanent subjugation.
8. The Government should not penalize the owners of properties for selling or giving their lands to the LTTE under threat. The Government should forthwith release all buildings in the Kilinochchi bazaar and other areas in the North including the villages like Paravipanchan in the Kilinochchi Town, now fenced with barbed wire and retained by the army, as property held by the LTTE, since it is totally unacceptable to the people.
9. Thousands of vehicles like Lorries, cars, tractors, trailers, three wheelers and motorcycles had been destroyed beyond repair. Some are missing. Suitable measures should be taken to compensate or assist them to purchase new vehicles.
10. Currently, the participation of the local people in development activities is limited. Such participation of local people in foreign funded projects and such other activities should be made compulsory.
11. It is reported that the Government is issuing deeds for lands. When the people are still not settled in their respective houses, issuing deeds will create confusion among the people. For the issuing of deeds for lands, the Government should wait till the owners identify and resettle in their respective lands.
12. The Government should be requested to withdrawn the Emergency.
13. The NGOs both foreign and local should be allowed to operate in the North and the East.
14. It is observed that valuable lands are given at random to unidentified parties, purposes of which are not known, should be made transparent. There are allegations that valuable state lands in the North and the East are alienated to various persons, which procedure should be stopped as irregular, since it will create new problems with the locals.
15. It is very unfortunate that the Government does not allow the people and the officials of the North and the East to manage their affairs as done in all the other 07 provinces. I regret to say that the Government is treating these people like aborigines and goes on enforcing its own agenda without any consideration for their views or obtaining any assistance from them, other than from those few handpicked persons of their choice.
16. A scheme should be evolved to pay compensation for the IDP’s lives and properties lost due to the war. The President is on record for having assured compensation for the loss sustained due to terrorism.
There are many other matters I would like to bring to your notice. With all Sincerity, I strongly urge that it should be impressed on the Sri Lankan Government that until normalcy is restored Government should not upset the people by trying to implement its own agenda. The people must be made to feel that they are back in their lands with the same set up and not in an alien land with new area with new surroundings and strangers all over the places where they lived before the displacement.
Tamil United Liberation front