Tamil famers denied irrigation facility in East
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 June 2011, 10:52 GMT]
Irrigation facility from Inginiyagala tank has been denied to more than 2000 acres of paddy cultivated in the Yala season in Tamil areas in 13th and 14th colony located on the border of the Batticaloa district for the last one month. One month old crops are facing destruction due to lack of water, according to complaints made by farmers at the coordinating meeting of the Vellaave'li Divisional Secretariat.
Resettlement Deputy Minister and leader of a paramilitary group Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan presided at the meeting held Tuesday.
Divisional Secretary, parliamentarians of the district, councillors of the Piratheasa Chapai (PS), heads of government departments and representatives of non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
Representatives of affected famers submitted a memorandum with eight demands to the Sri Lankan government.
The livelihood of 375 families from Colony 13 and 400 families from Colony 14 solely depends on the paddy cultivation. Authorities concerned have failed to take prompt steps even after several appeals to distribute water from Inginiyagala tank and the two channels that supply water to these fields are closed. Tamil farmers allege that the reason for the denial of irrigation facility to their fields is due to unauthorized cultivation by members of the majority community, according to the memorandum.
Farmers further requested the authorities take step to provide water to paddy crops from Navakkiri tank and to provide basic facilities such as drinking water and home garden facility and latrines.
Villagers further demanded that electricity supply should be given to all areas in 43 GN divisions in the said DS division and to pay compensation to farmers for the loss of their crops due to wild elephant menace.