Representatives of over 4,600 people from four refugee camps in the Trincomalee district who complained to the World Food Programme (WFP) that their food supply has been discontinued for the past seven months have been told that the government was responsible for the stoppage. The dry rations have been provided by the WFP to be distributed by local government authorities.
State authorities have announced that food provisions will be re instated only if the refugees agree to leave the camps and relocate to settlements selected by the government instead of returning to their original places of residence.
The huts they live are also in a dilapidated state. Mainly farmers and fisher folk by profession, the Sampoor war displaced refuse to be forcefully evicted to places that will affect their livelihood. They say that the demarcated areas for relocation are not suitable either for paddy cultivation or fishing.
India’s largest state-owned electrical company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has been handed over most of the land within the HSZ in 2011, to build a power plant in a joint venture with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The generated electricity will be transferred through a high voltage power cable to Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
Residents of Sampoor have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition in June 2012, challenging the takeover of their land. The Sri Lankan Navy banned refugees from entering the Badrakali Amman Hindu temple near the HSZ demanding that the petition be withdrawn.
The refugees in Manatchenai, Kaddaiparichchan, Paddiththidal, and Kiliveddi camps had to flee their homes when the Sri Lankan military wrested the land from Tamil Tigers by war in 2006.
Their land in Sampoor East, Sampoor West, Koonativu and Kadarkaraichenai extending to 800 acres was cordoned off as a High Security Zone in 2007 through an extraordinary .