Journey through landless people.... Let's voice out for voiceless people who displaced by war,Natural disaster , Mass development activities and Human & Elephant Co-Existence issue and Plantation workers of Sri Lanka
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Mullikkulam people's rights have been neglected - Rev. Fr. Thavaraj

Written By Joining Hands Network on Friday, December 18, 2015 | 2:00 AM

Mullikulam people have conducted a media briefing on their land issue after long time. people were quite for many days and after the visit of the Coodinator of Praja Abhilasha , the people from Mullikkulam have told that they would address their issue continuously without any panic. aslo they will continue their struggle until they receive their land back Therefore people have conducted the media briefing at the Samasam hall in Mannar on 18th Decemeber 2015.

Mullikkulam people handsed over the petition to the DS

Mullikkulam people handed over the petition and demand for thier land rights. many people attended for the event read more in Tamil

Fishermen Lock Horns With The Navy In Panama

Written By Joining Hands Network on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 | 9:53 PM

Fishermen in Panama, Ampara and environmentalists are at loggerheads with the Navy over the setting up of a naval camp with a jetty being built on the lagoon. The fishermen claim that the jetty constructed by the Navy has destroyed mangroves in the area. By June 1st this year, the fishermen claim the Navy had constructed three jetties on the lagoon. According to environmentalists, the Navy’s construction is in violation of laws that govern coast conservation and fisheries and aquatic resources in the country. The Navy however has vehemently denied the allegation of destroying mangroves and setting up a jetty on the lagoon claiming they were only setting up a camp in Panama for national security purposes. The fishermen lament that the Navy and even the Fisheries Inspector in the area have ignored their concerns. Apart from building jetties, the fishermen have also expressed concern over what they claim the construction of a ‘hotel’ by the Navy in the lagoon area. President of the Panama Lagoon Fisheries Management Authority, P. Somasiri said the Navy was setting cabanas on the lagoon beach. He noted that the Navy had been permitted to use only two boats in the lagoon, but were now operating many more boats in the area. He explained that the excessive use of boats in the lagoon would result in a decline in the harvest of fish, prawns and lobsters. The Panama lagoon had boasted of one of the highest harvests of prawns and lobsters before the 2004 tsunami. Although there has been a slight decline in the harvest, fishermen still record a good harvest amounting to several thousand rupees between the months of April and November. “If the fish and prawn harvest from the lagoon sees a decline, some people in authority could then allow the further destruction of the lagoon area claiming the waters did not have any marine life. What they do not understand is the plight of the fishermen in the area,” Somasiri said. “It is a conspiracy. That is why the Navy after entering the area, has allowed fishermen from other areas to fish in the lagoon on motorboats polluting the water,” he added. There are currently 105 fisher families in the Panama lagoon area with 12 female headed families and they have a historical background for settling in Panama. The fisher families hail from a generation called Muthumal that had settled in the area from Hambantota after the Wellassa rebellion. These fishermen have practiced environment friendly fishing methods for decades. The fishermen believe that the harvest from the lagoon is a gift from Goddess Pattini. Therefore, the women who fish in the lagoon waters catch prawns and fish with their hands. “They first take a handful of sand and throw it into the lagoon while praying to Goddess Pattini before starting to fish in the lagoon waters,” Environmentalist Raveendra Kariyawasam said. He explained that the current destruction of the Panama lagoon area would be a severe blow to these fisher families. He pointed out that the Panama lagoon, according to the 1996 Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2, is managed by a fisheries management authority. “In such a backdrop, development or any other form of construction work cannot take place without the approval of this management authority,” Kariyawasam said, adding the current construction work in Panama is being carried out without consultation with authorities managing the lagoon. “The construction work carried out by the Navy is also in violation of Clauses 14 and 31 of the Coast Conservation Act,” he observed. According to Somasiri, the Panama Lagoon Fisheries Management Authority has last year complained to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka about the violation of the fishermen’s rights by the Navy. The complaint has been lodged under HRC/AM/65/11/B/AB and is being investigated by the Human Rights Commission office in Ampara. The Navy has responded to the Human Rights Commission inquiry on the matter on August 30, 2011 saying that they were setting up a camp in the area for national security reasons and in order to be able to provide assistance to the area in the event of a disaster. Somasiri said the fishermen have also written on June 6th this year to Captain A. M. A. W. Weerasinghe who is the Acting Director of the Navy Legal Service, requesting for action to be taken to stop the construction work. He added that even the Fisheries Inspector in the area had not inquired into the issues raised by the fishermen. The Navy however denied the fishermen’s’ allegations of destroying mangroves and setting up a new jetty on the lagoon. According to the Navy, the hotel the fishermen refer to are a few cabanas being built within the Navy camp. Navy Spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the Defence Ministry assigned the land in Panama to the Navy in 2010. He denied setting up a jetty on the lagoon destroying mangroves. “There is no point in setting up a jetty on the lagoon since the entrance to the lagoon is closed down due to the attrition of sand during the South West monsoon,” he said. According to Warnakulasuriya, the Navy is to berth its vessels and craft at the Oluvil Port once the camp is completed. He also admitted that there were several buildings being built, which are part of the Navy camp. He denied that the construction of these buildings have had any impact on the lagoon environment. Explaining the setting up of the Navy camp, Warnakulasuriya said there is no naval presence from Trincomalee in the Eastern coast till Galle in the Southern coast. “Therefore, there is a need for a naval base to be established in between,” he said. He noted that investigations into the LTTE attack on the Galle harbour several years back had revealed that the LTTE boats had been prepared and taken off from Panama. He added that the Panama area was also a popular destination for human smuggling. The people who are opposing are displeased that the Navy presence in the area would prevent them from carrying out their illegal activities,” Warnakulasuriya said. When queried about fishermen being restricted from fishing in the lagoon, the spokesperson said there were no obstacles to the fishermen in the lagoon. While the Navy denied allegations levelled by the fishermen, the Fisheries Ministry denied knowledge of issues faced by the fishermen in the Panama lagoon. Deputy Fisheries Minister Susantha Punchinilame said he was unaware of the concerns raised by the fishermen in the Panama lagoon. However, he said that the Ministry would take action if the fishermen inform the ministry of the problems faced by them. “I will also inquire from the Fisheries Inspector in the area about this issue,” he added. By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema Pictures Courtesy – Raveendra Kariyawasam source :

World Fisheries Day held on 21st November , 2015 in Jaffna

Written By Joining Hands Network on Sunday, November 22, 2015 | 10:54 PM

The World Fisheries Day Will be commemorated under the theme of "Peoples Power for Sustainable Life and Livelihoods" in Jaffna on 21st of November with the fishers, Farmers and Women from 14 districts. This is 19th WFD commemoration in Sri Lanka organized by National Fisheries Solidarity movement.PA has given the co-operation to the event in collaboration with other partners which come from around the country .

Save the Ozone and Save the life- International Ozone day Sep, 16th

Written By Joining Hands Network on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | 3:34 AM

Let us work together to protect our ozone layer and stand against the Sampur Coal power plant which is supposed to build in Sri Lanka. Let's protect all from UV rays through preventing the constructions of Coal power plants and other chemical factories. start struggle for promote Eco friendly power generation.

நாம் மனித உரிமைகளை எப்படி கடைப்பிடிக்க வேண்டும்? (தமிழில் முழு விளக்க ஆவணப்படம்)

Round Table Dialogue on Tourism and Sustainable Coastal Communities

Written By Joining Hands Network on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 | 1:40 AM

The Round Table Dialogue on tourism and coastal communitues was conducted among various development actors and the affected communities at Colombo yeaterday.
The research report, "the dark clouds over sun shine paradise" was carried out in KKS, Kuchchaweli, Passikudah and Kalpitiya tourism zones around the country.
The representatives from the four communities were the key players in the dialogue and seriously challenged the hoteliers whose names were indicated in the report.
Francis Raajan, the Praja Abilasha coordinator of land rights campaign said, "We are not against tourism. But we are totally against the human rights violations committed by the investors, government agencies. We urge all parties to respect rights of the people."read more

Who possess the power in Sri Lanka today?

In 2010, 1200 acres of land belong to Paanama people have been forcefully grabbed by armed forces. Paanama people continued their struggle to get the land back without fear even within the autocratic regime of Mahinda Rajapakse. People's action lead to defeat MR regime at the Presidential election in January 2015.
While listening to the people's demands the newly elected President Maitripala's cabinet had decided to release 340 acres of grabbed land from Ragamwela and Shastrawela on 11 February 2015. read more

Panama People protest to release their land

Written By Joining Hands Network on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | 4:19 AM

The Cabinet of Sri Lanka decided to release the Ragamvila village land which were occupied by the Air Force in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. even if the decision made by the cabinet on 11th Feb 2015 , still the lands haven't been released or given to the people. read more

Dark Clouds Over the Sunshine Paradise

Round Table Discussion on Researchj Findings of Sri Lanka Tourism

"Dark Clouds over Sunshine Paradise" education program at Kuchchaweli

Written By Joining Hands Network on Thursday, June 4, 2015 | 10:09 AM

SmsTbe STP/ NAFSO Research report was discussed among tbe coastal communities in Kuchchaweli today. Fishrrs, boat tour operators, beachseine owners, fishries activists and women around 26 prople attrnded  the program.
Raajan, the coordinator of Praja network presented the research findings to the group.
The team was highly articulated on their issues. The vice chair of the tourist boat operators association raise some critical questions challenging the whole tourism project. "Who decided to declare this tourism zone. No one consult us before they launch tourism" read more

Release of Lands and properties coming under High Security Zones

A large extent of land from the 11,639 acres which were under the control of the security forces during the war period has been already released and 6,152 acres in the Palay area is being maintained by the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Air Force as High Security Zones. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the President and the Minister of Defense to release another 1,000 acres from this land area in different stages and as a first step of this measure to release 220 acres in J 284 Valalai Grama Niladhari Division of the Valikamam East Divisional Secretariat Division to establish a Pilot Village for resettlement of 1,022 families displaced by the War. Under this project each family will get 20 perches of land, financial assistance to construct a house. It is also proposed to establish a school, a pre school, a hospital, religious places of worship, community centres and build other infrastructure activities. The remaining 780 acres of land will also be used in the future to resettle the people displaced by the War.
 Meanwhile, it was also decided to release the lands under the control of the Air Force in the Panama area in the Eastern Province to landless people in the area except the land in an extent of 25 acres in which buildings are now being constructed. It was further decided to release the buildings presently under the control of the Security Services in the High Security Zone near the President’s House in Colombo and buildings around the Temple Trees.

Committee to investigate renovations and removals being carried out in the City of Colombo by the Urban Development

Decisions taken at the Cabinet Meeting held on 11th February, 2015

The then Ministry of Defense and Urban Development as a part of a survey carried out in the year 2010 on Metro Rehabilitation Project and other activities of the Colombo City Development, it was started to remove 68,000 families with less- facilities from their original habitats and settle them in various other places. The Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply and Drainage has received numerous complaints from the affected people in this process and from those who are concerned about these activities. Therefore, The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply and Drainage Rauf Hakeem to appoint a committee comprising the officials of the relevant institutions to investigate into the injustices that have been caused in this resettlement and rehabilitation process, to make suitable recommendations and to expedite payment of compensation to the affected people.

It was also decided that in order to ensure that this committee’s appropriate attention is being made to look into the grievances of the affected parties that the activities of this committee should be monitored by another committee comprising the following three Ministers

1. Minister Ravi Karunanayake
2. State Minister Mrs. Rosy Senanayake
3. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne.

"Dark Clouds over Sunshine Paradise": Tourism Reseach Validation Meeting in Jaffna is successful

Series of education and validation meetings on tourism research report of "Dark Clouds over the Sunshine Paradise" are in progress these days in 4 places of research conducted.
Kuchchaveli, Passikudah, KKS and in Kalpitiya.
The KKS, Jaffna program was conducted at Marudanamadm agricultural training center.
There were several IDPs, even up to date attended the meeting and most are from Myliddy and KKs. read more

Forgotten people with Frustration: Mullikulam community

Mullikulam people gave up their struggle afterGotabaya Rajapakse's promises made with the mediation of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on December 26 in 2012.
The group was divided in to sevaral pieces. Each group became informants providing information against the others. Some of the very active volunteer active youth became nursary teachers supported by Navy with high salaries. Youth who were ready to die for gain the lands and fight for assert their rights were became deadly more

Plantation community demand decent life, Land & Livelihood

Plantation community in the mid hill country are one of the most marginalized community in the country. Not a single perch ownership for them though they have been living in the same line room and the same state for more

Panama Paththu Protection organized a meeting with the support of Praja Abhilasha Network

Panama people have organized a meeting in order to regain their land back. during the meeting they have decided to talk to more people in order to strengthen their campaign. read more

People have demonstrated to stop the Port city project in Colombo, Sri Lanka

District Seminar was conducted at Kalkuda on STP research report findings

The Seminar was conducted on 21th May 2015 at Kalkuda in Batticaloa in the eastern province of Sri Lanka.Praja Abhilasha and NAFSO has organized the event in order to validate the report more

Cabinet decission on releasing Lands in Panama area

The new government has started to work in order to sort out the land issues specially in north and eastern provinces. it was also decided to release the lands under the control of the Air Force in the Panama area in the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka read more

Capacity Building workshop on VGGT

Written By Joining Hands Network on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | 12:16 AM

Praja Abhilasha Network has conducted the capacity building workshop for the Co -Team members of the Network since 21 to 22nd Feb 2015 at the NFP training Center in Negombo. Here specially, the partners were strengthened on the knowledge of Voluntary Guideline of Governance of Tenure on Land,read more

VGGT/VGSSF awareness program at Panama on 15th Feb 2015

Written By Joining Hands Network on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 10:23 PM

PA and NAFSO have conducted the VGGT/VGSSF awareness workshop and mobilized the Panama people for their land rights on 15th Feb 2015 at the Panama Temple in Eastern province of Sri Lanka. more than 90 participants were present and specially from Lahugala and Panama suburb areas people were more

Military Tourism in Sri lanka

Written By Joining Hands Network on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | 10:37 PM

Over the past years under the Mahinda regime military tourism was promoted. more details read more

Plantation Land rights meeting was held in Suva Piyasa in kandy on 07th Feb 2015

Written By Joining Hands Network on Sunday, February 8, 2015 | 10:16 PM

Plantation Land rights meeting was held in Suva Piyasa in kandy on 07th Feb 2015. more than 70 representatives from plantation community , civil organization leaders, Trade Union leaders and NGOs have taken part in the meeting. read more

Leadership Training for community Leaders was conducted by Praja Abhilasha Network

Written By Joining Hands Network on Thursday, February 5, 2015 | 5:29 AM

Praja Abhilasha Network conducted a two days residential Leadership training workshop for the community leaders on 29th and 30th January 2015 at the NFP training Centre in Negombo. 35 participants were present from different more

People are in Danger due to Uma Oya Project

Written By Joining Hands Network on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | 12:10 AM

Due to the Uma Oya project the there are eight villages in Suburb Bandarawela have been affected, the villagers don't have a drinking water due to this project. read more

Meeting at Panama Tample Hall on Panama Land Grabbing issue

Written By Joining Hands Network on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 11:42 PM

Panama people have conducted a meeting about their issue and way forward on 24th January 2015 at the Panama Tample Hall. Praja Abhilasha , NAFSO and PARL members were present at the meeting.more than 35 people attended in the meeting read more

Main Activities

01. Conducting Research.
02. Pressurizing for land rights.
03. Mobilizing the landless people.
04. File court cases regarding land issues.
05. Networking the affected communities.
06. Providing Trainings for leaders.
07. Conduct workshops.
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