Protesting dairy farmers in Mannnar have demanded the release of a pasture forcibly being used for cultivation purposes.
They gathered in front of the district secretariat on 26 October and alleged the Pullaruttan grassland has been taken over by Manthai West and Iluppaikadavai villagers.
Around 295 families depend on dairy farming there for their livelihood.
Clashes occur when cattle being taken to the pasture stray into the cultivated area, they said.
A district development committee meeting two weeks earlier chaired by the North’s governor confirmed it to be a pasture, but authorities have taken no steps yet to release the land to them, said the protestors.
They handed over a petition to the officials.
In the meantime, dairy farmers are on a 40-day hunger strike against Chena cultivations by the Sinhalese in their grassland at Mailaththamadu.