‘We had only just built our house when we were displaced from the area. Now, only the foundation and the pillars of the fence remain of the house that we knew - everything else has been destroyed. This place we live in now and our home garden, is all built with our own money.’
‘He said that they will release the land in three phases. The first one was last December, and we hope the other two will be soon as well. When we asked him why it is taking so long, we were told that the Resettlement Ministry could not make this decision – the final word for release had to come from the Ministry of Defense. We are told by the forces that we should be grateful for the amount they have released so far, but when our homes are still under occupation, how can we be grateful?’
She notes the pattern in which militarisation continues in their area and across occupied areas in the country. After 2009, families were resettled in the area bordering one side of the Nandikadal lagoon, though far away from the water. The land here is hard and dry, inadequate for the home gardening and farming of small animals that they used to engage in. The area that allows direct access to the lagoon, essential for fishermen and for cultivation, remains under military control.