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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Excerpts from a Report dated 23 July 1999 by the Non-Governmental Organisation Council, Jaffna:
1. Military Administration | 2.Undeclared Economic Sanction | 3. Violation of Human Rights | 4. Living in Fear | 5. Bleak Future
1. Military Administration.
a) Daily night curfew - 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m.
b) High Security Zones - 45 Grama Sevaka Divisions where permanent residents cannot resettle.
c) Restricted zones -10 G.S Divisions where only residents of those villages are permitted entry. It is a prohibited area for the other residents of the Jaffna Peninsula.
d) Uncleared area - 15 G.S.Divisions remain uncleared.
e) Officers in charge of Civil Administration, G.A., A.G.AA, and other Heads of Departments have to carry out orders from the security forces. (OOC and OIC of Brigades)
f) Control of movement of the people and transport of goods through a number of check points.
g) Ministry of Defence (MOD) clearance for travelling outside Jaffna and for entry to the peninsula.
h) MOD clearance for transport goods from Colombo and other Districts.
i) Round ups and arbitary arrests.
j) Issue of Special Army Identity Cards and permits including family photographs.
k) Registration of houses and occupants by the Army including census.
l) Control on public meetings.
m) Ban on procession.
n) Ineffective Civil Administration.
o) Enforcement of Law and Order is inadequate as the movements of the police Personnels are minimal.
p) No democracy and ineffective Local Administration.
q) A continuous monthly promulgation of Emergency law by the Parliament.
r) Residents in uncleared area are subject to additional restrictions. e.g. A person is allowed to take only 5 k.g.of food items.
2. Undeclared Economic Sanction
Under the cover of security, various restrictions are imposed on the income generation activities resulting in acute Unemployment and Underemployment.
i) Only 3500 ha out of 7500 ha of garden land (Highland) is permitted for cultivation of crops .Average land available per farm family is 3 larchams ( 3/16 acre).
ii) Only 6000 ha out of 12000 ha of paddy land is permitted for cultivation.
iii) Agricultural inputs - very high cost and not available in time.
iv) High cost of cultivation and no profit.
v) Lack of marketing facilities.
vi) Ineffective crop insurance.
vii) Compensation not paid for damages and losses during the war.
i) Restrictions on time, area of fishing and occasional stoppage.
ii) Fishing, boats are not permitted. Only Kattumarams are allowed.
iii) Compensation not paid for damages and losses during the war.
c) Small Industries /cottage Industries.
i) Transport restrictions result in high cost of production.
ii) Raw materials are not available or in short supply.
iii) Compensation not paid for damages and losses during war.
iv) No marketing facilities for local products. Market flooded with goods from Colombo.
v) Uncertainly - Investors are reluctant to invest.
i) Though Sri Lanka is adopting an open economic policy, Jaffna continues to be in a closed economic condition due to various restrictions.
ii) Few traders are monopolising the market in virtue of their influence and wealth resulting in the escalation of prices.
iii) Jaffna is claimed to be cleared but MOD clearance is necessary for the transport of even food and other essential items.
iv) Turn over is low due to less purchasing power of the people.
v) Compensation not paid for damages and losses during the war.
Due to various restrictions the above sectors are operating at lower phase. This has denied regular employment opportunities for labour grade depending on the respective sectors.
Production cycle cannot revolve to generate sufficient income for the producers. It is obstructed at one stage or other by the above restrictions.
3. Violation of Human Rights.
a) Right to Live
Right to live is denied by various restrictions. Mainly environment of opportunities for employment to earn for the daily meal is obstructed resulting in an acute Unemployment and Underemployment.
b) Arbitrary Arrests and Missing Persons.
In 1996 about 600 persons arrested by the security forces are reported to be missing. They have been alleged to be killed and burried in Chemmany and other areas. Despite the exposure even now arbitrary arrests are continuing and whereabouts of some of the arrested persons are not known.
c) Some leading schools are occupied by the Army for the last three years.
d) Temples and churches in the high security zones are either closed down or allowed for restricted hours for worship to a limited number of devotees.
e) Restrictions on journalists from Colombo and foreign countries to visit Jaffna.
f) People are throughly perturbed and disgusted by the cumbersome administrative procedures.
g) People feel they are kept in an open prison.
h) Restrictions on freedom of speech.
i) Freedom of movement is controlled by the daily curfew and checks at several barrier points.
j) Restrictions on cultural, social and educational activities.
k) Suppression of the activities of the Voluntary Service Organisations by curtailing the inflow of International Funds to them.
l) Severe torture when arrested.
m) Detainees at K.K.S taken to Anuradhapura courts for trial.
n) Fishermen ordered to remove the sarong (Clothe) before engaging on fishing.
o) Certificate of arrest is in Sinhala which local people cannot understand.
4. Living in Fear
Violation f human rights by way of arbitrary arrests. It is found that a good number of arrested persons are missing and whereabouts not known. A fear psychosis among parents and guardians are compelling them to send the youths out of the peninsula.
Residents in close vicinity to the place where skirmishes or bomb blasts occur are subject to torture.
Young females and school girls are subject to unpalatable questions for longer time at the check points causing embarrassment to them.
5. Bleak Future
For over two decades people are undergoing severe trials and tribulations which make them feel that they are treated like aliens. A few unhappy experiences are listed below.
a) Loss of family members.
b) Continuous displacements.
c) Damage to houses and properties.
d) Loss of employment.
e) Disruption in education child labour thefts disaster.
f) Starvation, Malnutrition Health hazards.
g) Unemployment caused by disability.
h) Transport difficulties.
i) High cost of living.
People are living in gloom and are subject to a bleak future, as there are no immediate signs of any solution for the ethnic conflict. Destruction of life and devastation of the economy have brought the calamity to the brink of disaster.