SLA spearheads Sinhala Colonisation
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan army is continuing to forcibly remove Tamil civilians from their villages in the Muthur area, south of Trincomalee despite protests by Tamil Parliamentarians, said ex-militant Tamil groups in the eastern port town today.
In its latest move, the SLA has ordered the people of Iththikkulam, southeast of Muthur, to leave their village by today. Fearing the consequences of refusal, 175 families from Iththikkulam have already sought refuge in the government school building at Pallikkudyiruppu.
The forcible evacuation of the Tamils in Iththikkulam comes on the heels of the army's action last week, when it drove out Tamils and Muslims from several villages in the Upparu region between Muthur and Trincomalee.
The families driven out of their villages in Upparu last week are housed as refugees in the nearby village of Aalankerni.
The EPDP Parliamentarian, Mr. M. Chandrakumar has protested to the government about the forcible evacuation Tamil and Muslim civilians from their traditional villages in Muthur.
He said that this an attempt to settle Sinhalese in these traditional Tamil villages.
The Sri Lankan army has created and sustained many Sinhala colonies in several parts of the predominantly Tamil eastern province, particularly in the Trincomalee district, since 1983 by driving out Tamils from their traditional villages in those areas.
The largest network of such Sinhala settlements established by the Sri Lankan army is in Manalaaru (renamed in Sinhala as Weli Oya), south of Mullaithivu and in Thennamaravaadi, in the northern end of the Trincomalee district.
Thousands of Tamil residents were forcibly driven out of eighteen traditional villages in Manalaaru and from the large old village of Thennamaravaadi almost overnight by the Sri Lankan army in 1984.
More than ten Tamil villages were also destroyed later as part of the Sri Lankan army strategy to secure the Sinhala colonies which were established in Manalaaru.
Tamil MPs in the Sri Lankan Parliament said that they fear that the army's action in Muthur is aimed at undermining the Tamil and Muslim population in the region.