செவ்வாய், 6 செப்டம்பர், 2016

Maithiripala Sirisena acts like D.S. Senanayake in colonizing Tamil lands in East

Maithiripala Sirisena acts like D.S. Senanayake in colonizing Tamil lands in East

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 September 2016, 21:43 GMT]
Maithiripala Sirisena’s Forest Department has seized 600 hectares of residential lands in the only remaining Tamil division Thirukkoayil in Ampaa’rai district, Tamil civil officials from the Divisional Secretariat told TamilNet. Comparing the occupation scheme and the current structural genocide in Ampaa’rai to the 1957 so-called Gal Oya Colonisation Scheme, the Tamil officials said Colombo’s Forest Department officials have planted border stones surrounding residential lands of uprooted Eezham Tamils from Chaakamam, Thangka-vea’laayutha-puram and Kagnchi-kuddichchaa’ru GS divisions after the 2007-2009 genocidal onslaught. Although 700 Tamil families were fighting to resettle in their lands, their pleas went unheeded, the civil officials said. The occupying military and the Colombo-controlled administration have been blocking the people from resetting in their own lands after the war.

The genocidal war in Ampaa’rai was primarily waged in 2007 by the British-trained Sinhala Special Task Force (STF) commandos, who were behind several gruesome war crimes in the East. Now, the annihilation process has been transformed into a full-fledged demographic genocide.

The uprooted Tamils were completely disregarded in housing schemes and they languish without any humanitarian assistance for proper resettlement in addition to their lands being seized by the Forest Department on the advice coming from the ministry of Maithiripala Sirisena.

Only a section of lands were allocated to SL Forest Department before 2007. The areas inhabited by people were under the supervision of District Government Agent and the Divisional Secretary of Thirukkoayil.

But, as the Tamil people were all uprooted from the three GS divisions, the SL Forest Department is now claiming that the entire area comes under its purview. Complaints and appeals sent to Sirisena through the administrative structure has not given any result.

The people from the area have been subjected to ethnic pogroms and massacres. Following the 1986 Udumpan-ku’lam massacre by the SL military, a large number of people displaced from the area.

As the LTTE checkmated the SL military aggression, some of the uprooted people in 1990 had resettled back in their villages in the late 90s.

Immediately after becoming the first Prime Minister of ‘independent’ Ceylon, D. S. Senanayake launched six river valley projects seeking assistance from the World Bank. One of the first projects targeted Paddippazhai Aa’ru, Sinhalicising the name into Gal Oya at the southern end of the Eastern Province. Thousands of Sinhala families were brought from South. The earth dam constructed across the river is now called Senanayake Samudra.

The Gal Oya Scheme, carried out in violation of Land Settlement and Land Development laws that had been enacted under the British.

The Gal Oya colonisation scheme paved way for the creation of a new electorate called Ampa'rai, now Digamadulla, in the East dominated by the Sinhalese community.

The scheme also led to the formation of the Federal Party under the leadership of late Mr.S.J.V.Chelvanayagam and V. Navaratnam.

The Tamils in the area witnessed one of the first anti-Tamil pogroms in 1956.

The recent Genocide Resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council in February 2015, mentions it as the first genocidal massacre, which took place during the times of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike:

“A series of anti-Tamil pogroms, fueled in part by fabricated rumors about Tamil violence against Sinhalese, began with the passage of the Sinhala Only Act, or the Official Language Act, 2 in 1956.

“On June 5, 1956, at the urging of Sinhalese nationalists, a Sinhalese mob attacked Tamil demonstrators peacefully protesting the Sinhala Only policy, and pillaged Tamil businesses in Colombo. When the news reached Gal Oya, from June 11–16, Sinhalese mobs, who were galvanized by false rumors about Tamil-initiated violence, killed around 150 Tamils, injured about 100 more, and destroyed many Tamil-owned properties. Although police were present during the riot, they passively chose not to intervene and stop the violence; their presence and inaction illustrates the government’s intent to destroy the Tamil people in whole or in part.”

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