Displacement stories

(August 19, Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sudden rain in Kilinochchi on Sunday left many of the IDPs, who are yet to receive temporary shelters and thus still living under trees, struggling to seek shelter from the rain and safeguard their possessions from getting soaked.

According to the LTTE in a statement, “one 18 year old man was injured in SLA shelling in Vannerikulam in Kilinochchi. Persistent shelling in this area, where two weeks ago large number of IDPs had sought refuge, forced the IDPs to displace again further inside Kilinochchi. Such multiple displacements are also adding to the delays in providing adequate shelters to the IDPs”

The story of the Manthai West Multi Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) facilities illustrates the catastrophe of displacement in Vanni. This MPCS was setup in Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar in 1971. Thiruketheeswaram is a complex for a 1000 years old Hindu temple. This area was turned into a HSZ in 1990 and thus civilians, including devotees going to this temple, were barred from entering the area. . The MPCS too displaced from here in 1990 and it was setup in Iluppakkadavai in Mannar. In 1999 it was again forced out and it was setup in Vellankulam. In 2001 it returned to Iluppakkadavai.

In July 2008, it displaced back to Vellankulam, then to Nahapaduvan, then to Vannerikulam, and presently to Kilinochchi. Prior to this string of displacements, this MPCS operated a rice mill, take away food shop, ration distribution branches, electricity supply using generator, Rural bank, furniture rentals, and vehicle services. Due to repeated displacement this MPCS has lost LKR 12 million in less than two months. The loss of services to the people is not hard to imagine.

Such stories multiplied many times is the reality of the displacement in Vanni.
- Sri Lanka Guardian