The People of kanchuramodai, which comes under the Vavuniya North Divisional Secretariat, are engaged in a struggle for the third day demanding to control the activities of the Forest Department relevant to their lands. Vavuniya North Divisional Secretary, E.Prathaban and the Chairman of the V/North PS, E.Tahnikasalam met the protestors and had discussion with them.
The people who were living at Kanchramodai and Navalar Pannai were displaced in the 1980- 1990 period, returned by 2012 to their lands. Although their lands were heavily overgrown by jungle , they cleared them and settled in temporary sheds.
38 families which so settled were given housing scheme by National Housing Authority and the houses are in various stages of construction.
In this context, the Forest Department has claimed ownership of the land and preventing people from clearing the lands or undertake housing construction with threats of arrest if their ban is breached.
The people say that the dilapidated houses and wells found in the overgrown areas are evidences of them living there earlier and some of them are still possessing permits for their lands.
When asked to comment on this matter, the Officer in charge of Vavuniya District Forest Department, K.Nanayakkara said that, if old houses are existing in evidence he has no objection in identifying the land and grant them to the people.