Data revealed, the population growth in Mulative district increased by 2% when the resettlement program was completed at the end of last year. ((2017)
Although people were displaced from time to time during the war period, in 2009 all fled the area and all their property was destroyed because the last battle occurred in Mullativu, says a senior officer at the District Secretariat.
According to the data issued by district secretariat in Mulativu, 112056 people had been displaced in 2009. The senior officer said that the figure is disputed as there were only poor recording facilities at that time.
The senior officer further explained, that family expansion , biological increase in population,and the return of those who left the area, whether they were in hiding or in self-exile,were the causes of the increase.
Meanwhile the district secretary Rupawathi Katheeshwan confirmed that the concern is to resettle the displaced people in the Mulaitivu district. She explained that the infrastructure development in the district is a challenge for them. Education, houses, water, sanitary facilities, electricity and the return of lands which were occupied by security forces are the main issues among them.
Data issued from the Ministry of Prison Rehabilitation and Resettlement shows that 43155 families (135292 individuals ) were resettled during 8 years of the period starting from 2009 and ending in 2017. Of them 81 families live in a relative’s place or any other temporary places in the Mulaitive district and they are waiting to be resettled in their own native land.
Resettlement plan in 2009 – 2016 depicted in the table below
Data Sources : Ministry of Prison, rehabilitation and resettlement
According to the data available in the period of 2009 to 2017, the highest number of population settled down in 2010, which comprises 18889 of individuals (55188 families) accordingly. Since then the number of resettlement gradually decreased until the end.
Data Sources : Ministry of Prison, Rehabilitation and Resettlement
In 2009 the displaced people in Mualitivu district were forced to live in Manik farm or any other temporary shelters in Vaunia. They were reluctant to stay there for a long time. After the war ended, they came back on their own decesion said the senior officer in Mulaitive district secretariat.
The release of land issue had a direct impact on the resettlement process in Mualitivu district, said a director of the Ministry of Prison, Rehabilitation and Resettlement on a promise not to reveal her name. According to her, resettlement was done as a consequence of the land releases by security forces and the relevant institutions were waiting to locate people in their own lands.
On inquiry from the Army spokesman to get data on land acquisition by Army, Col Jayantha Perera a representative of the office said that the actual extent of acquired land could not be available because of the the security concerns of the country.
However, we requested data on 20th September 2017 from district secretariat in Mualative district under the Right to Information Act, and they say 1924.35 acres of land were released to the people by the security forces, while 2265 acres of land are yet to be returned to the people.
Meanwhile we requested same data up to 31st December 2017, from the Ministry of Prison Rehabilitation and Resettlement in a RTI application, and they replied on 15th January 2018, and said that the data was updated upto 30th September 2017 and 424.47 acres of land were handed over to the people so far.
But the available data in the district secretariat, show that 54% of the land has to be released to the people. It includes 1087.31 acres of state land and 1177 acres of private lands.
The above lands belonged to the 81 families as mentioned above, the families who gave up their native land and lived in different places, farming land of resettled families and land of unknown ownership as well.
Meanwhile 61 % of the families are waiting for proper shelter. Data revealed that 22189 new houses were handed over to the eligible families and 3762 of houses were repaired so far. 39% of houses are yet to be built oryet to be renovated. It would be funded by Sri Lankan government, Indian government, UN and other non-governmental organizations.
Rathika Ramandathan who was an ex combatant of LTTE and has resettled in Mullaivaikkal shared her experience ,
“ we were resettled in late 2016 and stayed with my sister. Although our resettlement has finished, we face many challenges . Our main income is farming. But we have marketing problems. The military send agricultural products to the market and compete with our products. So we can't get proper value for our products and we have to sell them at low prices.
I want to find a job but I can’t apply for a job without having my certificates. They were destroyed during the war.
A sister of Rathika. Says
We lived in the Manic farm. I have 2 children. I always worries about my children to make full of their bellies at least twice a day instead of 3 times a day. I do not care about food nutrisions. Just feed with a roti’
We tried several times to contact the minister of prison rehabilitation and resettlement to get the idea of the buget allocation in 2018 to develop infrasture in this area as it is more sensitive issue, But failed to contact him.