Tamil villages of Katpiddi Peninsula are for sales by Colombo
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 January 2011, 06:05 GMT]
Many traditional Tamil villages in the Katpiddi Peninsula and islets off that in the Puththa'lam district of the North West Province are for sales by Colombo establishment, ostensibly for tourism purposes under Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRP). “There are about 11 investors who applied to invest around US$ 500 million to put up tourist resorts, golf courses, marinas, etc in this zone which was defined as a tourist zone by the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority, but the government is not happy with the bids which have mainly come from Indian parties,” Sunday Times reported. The presence of Chinese is overwhelming in the Katpiddi Peninsula along with construction of Nuraichchoalai power plant, local residents said.
Some Colombo sources allege that an Indian company left the bidding after refusing to pay bribe to get lands in Katpiddi Peninsula.
There were no bids from any western chains. However, sources close to the short-listing process of the bidders say that there’s something dubious going on, Sunday Times said, adding that the industry senses some foul play where ultimately an unsolicited bid (companies that have not sent a bid) may be entertained.
There are 17 islands in the Katpiddi area and work has already begun on tourist resorts on two of them by an Indian and a Maldivian firm.
The Tamil villages that are for sale are Keeri-munthal, Vaththaa’lang-ku’ndu, Pa’l’liya-vaththai, Vellai, Uchchi-munai, Ippan-theevu, Periya-arichchal, Chinna arichchal, Erumaith-theevu, Kaakkai-theevu and Mukaththuvaaram in the Dutch Bay.
Just like mutilating the place name Nuraich-choalai, all the names of the places for sales are also mutilated in the official records.
Fishing communities in the 14 islands of Katpiddi fear displacement, as three islands have already been leased out for 99 years and anther five are on the way. Some fishing communities are forced to sell their Beach Seine (Karaivalai-paadu). The Navy also wants land from the fishing communities.
People are reluctant to come out for any action as speaking out has become dangerous, media reports said.
Katpiddi Peninsula is one of the last stretches where traditional Tamil and Muslim villages were surviving Sinhalicisation in the North West Province.