Sinhalese encroach ancestoral lands owned by Tamils in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Monday, 14 February 2011, 02:40 GMT]
A group of Sinhalese settlers from the 36th colony, with Sri Lankan Police protection, has encroached into more than thirty acres of land belonging to twenty Tamil families located in 35th colony, south of Batticaloa district and north of Ampaa'rai district in the Vellaave'li DS division, civil sources in Batticaloa said. The affected Tamil families have been residing in the lands that were legally handed over to them by the District Land Development (DLD) in and after 1956. The families possess the land deeds affirming ownership of the affected lands which include residential plot, high land and fertile field to grow paddy, civil sources added.
Sri Lanka’s Police Department has set up a police station in the centre of the 35th colony to provide security to the Sinhalese encroachers.
Furthermore, the police have introduced a procedure for the Tamil families in the 35th colony to surrender their national identity card at the police station before going to the market complex in the 36th colony and to collect it when they return, Tamil civil sources complained.
Meanwhile, Tamil families complain that they come under intimidation and attack by Sinhalese encroachers, and cattle owned by Tamil families and grazing in 600 acre land allocated by the Batticaloa District Secretariat at Thivulana Ku'lam area in Paddippazhai DS division are frequently stolen and killed.
Vellaave'li Divisional Secretary says that he has not received any written complaint regarding the encroachment and other illegal activities that are taking placed in the 35th colony.
Tamil families express fear to make complaints to higher authorities against illegal activities of Sinhalese encroachers backed by police personnel, civil sources said.
In the meantime, the Paddippazhai Divisional Secretary is reported to have filed a case in the Batticaloa District Court regarding the alleged illegal activities including encroachment and threat to the cattle grazing in allocated area.