LTTE opposes land ministry mobile service in Kantalai
[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 18:29 GMT]
The Trincomalee political secretariat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Saturday condemned the decision of the Land Minister to hold a mobile service to resolve disputes related to State land matters of the Seruvila electorate of the Trincomalee district. “ Holding of such mobile service would seriously damage the progress of the peace negotiations,” said the LTTE Trincomalee political secretariat in a statement issued Saturday.
The mobile service is scheduled to be held on December 21st Sunday at the Kantalai divisional secretariat office.
The LTTE Trincomalee district political secretariat said that action of the lands ministry disregarding its protest earlier would put at risk the progress of the future peace talks.
Few months earlier the Land Ministry decided to hold mobile services in Trincomalee and Muttur electorates to distribute land permits and to resolve state land disputes. However those mobile services were cancelled at the last minute due to a general shut (Hartal) down called by the LTTE opposing that holding such mobile service.
The Lands Ministry has now taken steps to hold a mobile service for the Seruvila electorate.
Seruvila electorate came into existence in the Trincomalee district since 1977 electoral delimitation. Earlier Muttur electorate was a multi-member constituency and Trincomalee electorate was a single member constituency and not a single Sinhala parliamentarian was elected from the Trincomalee district till 1977, sources said.
Soon after the country gained independence successive governments of Sinhalese dominated political parties launched state aided colonization schemes in the eastern province. In Trincomalee district state aided colonization schemes were inaugurated under Kantalai and Allai tanks. Landless from majority community in the south were brought down to Kantalai and Allai and were settled on State lands by the State thus creating new Sinhala settlements.
The Delimitation Commission appointed by the government in power in 1976 carved out a new electorate encompassing all new Sinhala settlements and named it Seruvila electorate. Since then Sinhalese people are able elect a parliamentarian, sources said.
The traditional Tamil village Kantalai which was once administered by Tamils became a Sinhalese dominated area with the State aided colonization scheme. Currently Kantalai is considered by the Sri Lanka government as the capital town of Seruvila electorate, which has a population 80 percent Sinhalese, sources said.
Pankulam, Muthalikulam, Panankattimurippu and Nochchikulam in the north of Trincomalee district and Eachilampathu and several Tamil villages are included in the Seruvila electorate.
Seventy percent of jungles of Trincomalee district is found in the Seruvila electorate.