Colombo Archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa are scheduled to visit the Mullikulam Village in the Mannar district over the next few days to look into the wellbeing of the internally displaced people in the area.
The displaced people are living in temporary shelters in the Marichchikattu jungle and the scheduled visit of the Archbishop and the Defence Secretary has given hope for the early resettlement of the people in the area.
“We have suffered a lot since 2007 going from place to place, with no food or shelter. We will not move to another location even if we are told that we will be given a house mad of gold. We need our own land to be resettled,” the displaced people told this reporter.
Since the start of the rainy season, life in the jungle has been even more difficult than usual.
“We need permission to go back to our own village in Mullikulam. Right now we wait and see who is coming to give us food or clothes. We need not to stay in these small huts. We want to earn our living and feed our children and live a normal life,” one displaced person said.
At present some 212 Tamil families are living in the Marichchikattu jungle. They moved to the jungle in June from an IDP camp on a request from the government.
Text and Pictures by Melani Manel Perera