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Progress not been made on Iranaitivu land release - Tamil MP writes to president

The Sri Lankan government has not made progress on returning lands in Iranaitivu back to the people, the Tamil MP, S Sritharan wrote in a letter to the president. 

"People from Iranaitivu were displaced in 1992 due to the military's actions. They have been living in Mulankavil for the past 26 years without any livelihood support and without any hope for the future amid severe difficulties," Mr Sritharan wrote. 

"After the end of the war and following the resettlement from IDP camps in 2010, the residents made several attempts to move back to their own lands. On May 1, 2017 the residents of Iranaitivu began a peaceful protest calling for their lands to be released."

On April 23 villagers from Iranaitivu staged a daring attempt to return to their homes, sailing to the island which continues to be occupied by the Sri Lankan military and marching to their homes, refusing to leave until they are guaranteed their land will be returned to them.

Whilst permitting the villagers to stay, the Sri Lankan navy remains on the island, fuelling uncertainty about the residents right to live in their own lands. 

"Progressive steps have not been taken", Mr Sritharan noted, pointing out that whilst the villagers were now in their homes, they were without any basic facilities.  

"I kindly request you to take measures to immediately address basic needs of these people," he concluded.