2ND LEAD (Correction)

SL Minister Bathiudeen escalates disunity between Tamils, Muslims in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 July 2017, 17:27 GMT]
More than a hundred Tamil youth, predominantly males, mobilized through social media took to the streets on Sunday in Mullaiththeevu, opposing controversial SL minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who is pushing ahead with a colony for Muslim settlers in Mullaiththeevu. At a time when Muslims and Tamils should stand together confronting the genocidal Sinhala occupation to the north and to the south of Kokku’laay lagoon, which links the northern and eastern provinces, the SL minister’s scheme attempts to set the Tamils against Muslims in Mullaiththeevu, Tamil activists in Vanni said. The protest by Tamil youth comes after Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran walked out of a District Coordinating Committee meeting 7 days ago as Mr Bathiudeen was insisting on his colony declining to honour the proposal from the Justice Wigneswaran of a proportional formula for resettlement.

Justice Wigneswaran was proposing an equitable formula along the lines of ethnic proportion prevailing in the district as it was before the times of the war, NPC sources said.



The protesters on Sunday were shouting slogans against SL Minister Rishad Badiutheen.

Civil sources in Mullaiththeevu District Secretariat told TamilNet on Monday that Mr Bathiudeen has been pushing for a colony for his voters under the pretext of resettlement of Muslims who were evicted from Mullaiththeevu during the war.

Of 1,444 families proposed by SL Minister during the times of Rajapaksa regime, only 544 were identified as real beneficiaries entitled to resettlement, the officials said.

However, the SL Minister was pushing for the same scheme despite the regime change.

The SL Minister has been targeted 177 acres of forest lands at Koozhaa-mu’rippu, situated between Mu'l'livaay-va'lai - Oddichuddaan and Nedungkeaa'ni - Pu'liyangku'lam for the new Muslim settlement.

The SL Forest Department was refusing to allocate the lands during the times of Rajapaksa regime. But, now under Maithiripala regime, Bathiudeen has managed to secure the backing of the SL Forest Department. SL President Maithiripala Sirisena was instrumental in influencing the Forest Department, which comes under the purview of his ministry, the civil sources said.

In the meantime, Muslim people confronting Sinhala colonization in Pulmoaddai, situated south of Kokku’laay lagoon, said SL Minister Bathiudeen has failed to address their problems.

TNA Parliamentarian Shanthi Sriskantharajah and NPC Councillors T. Ravikaran and A. Puvaneswaran extended their support to the protest by the youth.

T. Ravikaran also confronted a statement coming from a young lawyer that NPC Chief Minister was weak and that the NPC had failed to act on the issue. TNA Parliamentarian Shanthi Sriskantharajah explained how the most dangerous Sinhala colonisation was being taken forward in all the directions.

The Tamil youth, who took to the streets, should also come forward to protest against the Sinhala colonisation schemes, grassroots activists in Karai-thu’raip-pattu said welcoming the first successful mobilisation of Tamil youth in Mullaiththeevu.

Tamil fishermen in Mullaiththeevu have lost 70% of their coast to the occupying Sinhalese and a Sinhala Buddhist monk is engaged in constructing a Buddhist vihara in Kokku’laay, grassroots activists in Karai-thu’raip-pattu said urging the Tamil youth to also come forward to address the most precarious problem of Sinhala colonization in the district which attempts to wedge the North and East.


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