Sri Lanka: Tamil women demand return of land

Keappaapulavu, February 22.

Protesters have been camping outside a Sri Lankan Air Force base since January 31 at Keappaapulavu on the north-eastern coast of the island of Sri Lanka.

Women are playing a leading role in the protest. They are demanding the return of their land, which was taken away to create a military zone. 

The Keappaapulavu base is one of many military bases built throughout the north and east of the island. After the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland, Tamil areas are under what amounts to a military occupation.

Sri Lankan military intelligence has been intimidating the protestors by photographing and filming them. A sign was put up threatening protesters with death if they entered the base. This threat was removed after adverse media publicity.

The protesters have received solidarity from a range of sources, including Jaffna University students, Tamil and Muslim traders in the town of Mullaitheevu, and some religious figures from the Sinhalese ethnic majority from Sri Lanka’s south.

February 19. Interviews and scenes of 19th day of protests at Keappaapulavu:

February 2. Keappaapulavu uprooted people protest against SLAF: