Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa protest against continued suppression by Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 October 2015, 22:52 GMT]
Resettled Tamil villagers from around 30 villages in Poaratheevup-pattu division of Batticaloa district, have complained this week that the Colombo regime and its provincial agents in East continue to ignore their requests to contain the wild elephants that have been brought from South into the jungles adjacent to their villages in Paduvaankarai. The wild elephants have claimed the lives of 5 Eezham Tamils within the last 30 days. Despite their repeated complaints, Sirisena's regime remains deaf to calls to control the attacking elephants, the villagers told TamilNet on Wednesday, two days after staging a protest in front of the divisional secretariat at Vellaave'li. In the meantime, Eezham Tamil graduates who have been neglected by Colombo in employment have launched a hunger strike demanding permanent jobs.

Unemployed graduates protest in Batticaloa

“There are more than 1400 unemployed graduates in Batticaloa district. Colombo government continues to appoint graduates from South in key jobs in the Tamil districts. Our hunger strike will continue to till our problem is resolved by Colombo's administration and the provincial administration in East,” a representative of the protesters, who are on the hunger strike at Gandhi Park in the city of Batticaloa said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, wild elephants have destroyed 40 houses within the last 30 days in Poaratheevuppattu division, 35 km south of Batticaloa city.

The Tamil families who have resettled after the end of war in East in 2007 have been facing new threat to their lives from the wild elephants that have been brought from Hambantota and other jungles. More than 70 Tamils have been slain by the elephants since 2007 in Poaratheevup-pattu division alone.

Colombo's Wildlife Department is trying to chase the Tamil villagers away from their fertile lands while the Mahaweli ministry of SL President Maithiripala Sirisena is almost waging a war of aggression against the Tamil farmers who are dependent on cattle farming in Paduvaankarai, Batticaloa.

The civil officials and SL police officers have repeatedly failed to act despite a number of protests, the villagers told TamilNet.

Unemployed graduates protest in Batticaloa

On Monday, the protesting villagers laid siege to the divisional secretariat. They also blocked the traffic on Ma'ndoor - Batticaloa Road. SL Police Superintendent Rahika Sampath and Divisional Secretary N. Vilvaratnam appeared and assured action as usual, the disappointed villagers said. The villagers blamed the SL Government Agent for failing to respond in person to their protests. Provincial council members attended the protest.

The villagers said they didn't face deadly attacks from the elephants deployed from the Sinhala South before 2007 when the LTTE was administering their territory.

Protest at Vellaave'li
Villagers from Poaratheevup-pattu protest carrying photos of two victims recently slain by wild elephants
Protest at Vellaave'li

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