SLA soldier killed in Trinco settlement

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 November 2001, 16:57 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier was killed and another was wounded in an ambush by the Liberation Tigers in the Left Bank- 3 (LB-3) Channel area in the Serunuwara division of the Trincomalee district Tuesday morning, security sources said. A four year old Tamil girl was seriously wounded in retaliatory fire by the army. The injured child was immediately taken to Trincomalee hospital from Mutur, medical sources said. LB3 is one of several state sponsored Sinhala land encroachments in the Allai irrigation project in the Mutur region which were legalised and protected by Colombo despite protests by Tamil politicians.

The SLA fired artillery shells towards the jungle near the Left Bank-3 following the attack, residents said.

Sinhalese farmers from the southern parts of the island were encouraged by the state to settle in the catchment areas of the reservoirs and at the head of the water distribution channels of the Allai scheme. Sinhala settlers were hence able to control the supply of water at will to Tamil villages in the region. Armed conflicts frequently erupted between Tamil farmers and Sinhala settlers over the restriction and the blocking of water supply by the latter.

Tamil farmers continue to eke out a living in the LB-3 area and a section of the neighbouring Nilapolai and Kankuveli despite the odds against them.

The legalised encroachments and state sponsored settlements were named in Sinhala as Serunuwara, Neelapola, Ali-Oluwa, Dehiwatte, Serunuwara etc.,

In 1976 a new electorate called Seruvila, was carved out in the Trincomalee district for Sinhalese, comprising the new Sinhala settlements on the recommendation of the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which was in power at the time. The SLFP is now led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and is the main constituent of the People’s Alliance regime.

 

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