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* Hunger strike to be launched in Sri Lanka's Northern Province demanding lands
Sun, Feb 3, 2013, 08:34 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 03, Colombo: Thousands of civilians in Sri Lanka's North will launch a hunger strike to protest against the lack of access to their lands.

Over 20,000 civilians in the North are to participate in the hunger strike scheduled to commence on the 15th.

The hunger strike is reportedly to be held at the Tellippalali Durga Devi temple premises.

The protestors will demand the withdrawal of the security forces from lands owned by the civilians prior to the end of the war.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, S. Sritharan has said that homes and lands of many civilians in the North have been taken over by the security forces.

The mass hunger strike that is to commence on the 15th is to continue until the authorities address the civilians' demands.

The Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has recommended the government to review the existing High Security Zones, as well as small extents of private land currently utilized for security purposes, with a view to release more land while keeping national security needs in perspective.

It also recommended provision of alternate lands and or payment of compensation within a specific time frame if the government occupied lands cannot be released to the owners.

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