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Let us build our world together

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | 4:01 AM

A press briefing was conducted by the women federation to reveal the political, social and economical issues they are facing in North and east especially after ending of war on 22 of JULY .
Representatives from Mannar, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Baticaloa and Ampara were participated to the event and revealed the present issues they facing as women who lost their breadwinners of the family. 

Among several issues they  facing commonly, land grabbing is the main issue almost all are speak about. Since they have lost their husbands, Sons who provided the economical strength and security to the family.
Militarisation of the areas they are living have created very disturbing situation specially for women.
Issues in educating of children who have no father any more and  further more drug addiction of youth is increasing in alarming rate in the areas they are came from. 

Several media representatives participated to the press briefing which was conducted in Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Colombo -10.

“we expected something better” from President Sirisena.

Although the country’s civil war ended many six years ago, the legacy of the bloody conflict between the government and Tamil rebels is still felt. Refugees are still forced to move as the government seizes their lands. The latest trend has been to use farmland for tourist development. The net effect of the situation is that refugee children have easy access to drugs but no access to education. 
More details please the below news which was  written Melani Manel 

Panama Land Struggle; No solution even after the cabinet decision to release the lands to the villagers

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Friday, July 17, 2015 | 12:54 AM


"Today we are back to our lands" say Paanama displaced community
After forceful chasing away from their lands by unknown armed persons, Paanama, Raigamwela, Sashtrawela people were displaced since 10 July 2010.
However, it is well known fact that there is no possibility to enter outside group into their lands with out attention of military as they are within 500 meters away from their lands.
"We can not say exactly who but there is no possibility any group to enter our lands with arms and chased us away without the support of military." Says Punchiappuhamy a displaced but a land owner in the village.
Now the people are ready to go back to their lands with the Cabinet decision. Cabinet of the newly elected govt after 08th January decided hand over  340 acres in Ragamwela, Sashtrawela villages.
"We do not want any others land. We want our people's land back to our people. We are thankful to Cabinet ministers and President and PM for their decision to return our land." Said Rev. Paanama Chandraratana thero. "We want all people to assist us to settle our lands in peaceful manner."  Added Rev. Chandraratana.
There are hundreds of people eagerly awaiting to get back to their villages. But the leader of Paanam Paththu Protection Organization P. Somasiri was the key player in the struggle, a lagoon fisherman who lost his employment and land. He said at our meeting yesterday, "there is a Cabinet decision to give our land back. The Pothuwil magistrate court release us totally from the court case against us on illegal tresspassing the land. The human rights commission of Sri Lanka has recommended to release the land. What we want is to allow us to go back to our lands peacefuly." Somasiri said at a preparatory meeting  held at Paanama temple.

The villagers in Panama,  (15th July 2015) staged a protest in Panama demanding immediate actions to provide their lands back and tried to return to their lands but forcibly stopped by the police.

The protestors claim that though the cabinet decision had taken on 12th February 2015 to release the lands back to the genuine owners, today, even after 5 months of the decision, authorities have not taken necessary actions to return the lands back to the people.

The Government Agent (GA) of Ampara division and the Divisional Secretary (DS) of Lahugala were call up into the scene by the police to settle the issue with the people. GA and the DS said that they have not yet received the authorization letter from the presidential secretariat announcing the release of the lands and recommending further actions though the cabinet decision had taken to release the lands. They also said that once they received this letter, they can take next procedures to release the lands.

However, people argued with them questioning why only the Panama lands are not yet given back to the people whilst the other lands released under same cabinet decision are already given back to the people and the people are already resettled in the areas such as Walikamam North in Jaffna. The GA and DS were unanswerable to the people's questions and promised that they will take immediate actions to get the required letter from the presidential secretary.

The unsatisfied and angried people of their answers said that they do not believe their promises and went and tried to enter into their lands. However, hurried police blocked villager's way and prevent them entering into their lands. So, people sat on the ground saying that they do not go back until they get their land back.

After a while, with number of discussions between the villagers and the police, villagers agreed to provide two weeks to the authorities to settle the issue and provide the lands back to the people. After that, the villagers withdraw peacefully from the site.


Education on CEDAW-Convention for elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Karuwalagaswewa citizen forum organized Education program for the women in Palugassegama,Ranawarapitiya,Werapura,Galawewa and Nilabamma villages . We educated on CEDAW document , women rights and responsibilities of citizen . Then they identified main issues in each village. 85 participated the program.

Mobilize the fishermen for the campaign.

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Monday, July 6, 2015 | 3:05 AM

NAFSO Conducted awareness program for the fisher leaders of Matara on 29 of June at southern fisher organization hall. 21 fisher leaders and 03 women leaders participated the program.We discussed present fisher issues .Then they identified  the  four major  issues such as 
01.Illegal fishing 
02.No safety at sea
03.Import of fish 
04.Natural disaster 
05 .No unity of the fisherman
We educated on the VGGT and VGSSF 
They decided to mobilize fishermen in each villages and prepare the common platform for the campaign

District women federation meeting

Conducted Women district comity meeting at Galle on 29 of June.26 women leaders participated in nine villages.
We educated on NAFSO women program which is conducting in North and East.In the same time share the great women life stories. We discussed on life of Wangarri Matha. Then they identify the main problems in these areas. 
02.Getting marriage under age.
03.Economic problems. 
04.Increase of shcool drops out.
Finally they decided  to conduct education program in each village with in next month

President of women federation speak out on their issues  

Give our land as promised

'Civil organisation for Sampur development' meeting was conducted at Kilivetti camp in Sampur. 30 leaders of the four camps participated for this meeting. They have formed common civil society organisation for campaign and getting back their land.
Finally they decided
01.To develop the letter head,Banner and Rabber seal.
02.To collect the up date information with Map.
03.To develop communication macunizam for each camps.
04.To develop leaflet for the election campaign.
05.Discuss with DS office to get the register for the organisation
06.To develop and finalise the constitution for the organisation. 
They got the responsibilities to finish these work with in 03 week.
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leadership training

Leadership program was conducted in cooperative hall in 25 of June at Trincomalee. Citizen forum 24 leaders participated that program. Identified the role of citizens and which kind of leader should be . 

Exposure visit

we had discussion with Sri vimukthi fisher women group leaders of Kadalkelai -Negombo on 20 th of June .Fyfe from Australia joint for this discussion to get the experience of their livelihood and influence.

Citizen forum

Citizen forum was conducted on 21 of June at Palugassegama community hall .
19 members participated and no one come from the Neelabamma
Focus of the day
-Review the last month activities 
-Discussion on village development plan
-Awareness on citizen forum process and develop strategies.
-Future actions
out come
-Prepared village development plan in Galawewa,Werapura and Ranawarapitiya but not Neelabamma and Palugassegama.
-They could develop the model for the VDP with content of the data ,Issues,Suggestions and capacity training and so on .
-Decided to conduct the women seminar in 07 of July with 150 women[Main topic of the seminar -Women rights ,Responsibilities and right of the citizen.
-Decided rebuild the Palusasagama and Neelabamma .Jayawathi and 03 leaders got the responsibility.
Decided to finalize the VDP According to the accepted model.
-Next meeting will be 12 th of July.

Let's fight together to stop the port city project.

Fisher people of Negombo,Civil society  organizations conducted signature campaign on 20 th of June against port city .They started signature campaign form Negombo to Usatakeiyawa .

Bring cultural as human rights

What is the importance of Cultural Policy for build a cultural citizen: Speaks Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardene The people's cultural forum sat with Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardene on 14 of June at NAFSO to discuss about the Cultural policy which was drafted and submitted to President.
The team discussed about the importance of to build a cultural citizen as the present crisis is an issue of the devastation of the civilization. 
Dr. Sunil raised the importance of the necessity of the discussion of Economic, Social and Cultural rights as this can be an important bring cultural as human rights in present discourse.
At the same time the dialogue was focus the difficulty and necessity to building the bridge between north and south through culture. The trust building is difficult in other sections of the society though Culture has more potential to building bridge between north and south.
The group agreed to take this message forward and educate the wider group among the civil organizations and communities.

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