Feature Article

Rural societies in North-East will determine future leaders of Tamils: Kurunathan

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 May 2016, 23:25 GMT]
Tamils in the East, especially the people of Batticaloa, strongly wish for the merger of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces into a single province as before, says retired Land Commissioner of Eastern Province and the last Deputy Land Commissioner of the merged North-Eastern Province in the past Karthirgamathamby Kurunathan. In a recent interview to TamilNet, Mr Kurunathan said the rural societies in the Tamil homeland would determine the future leaders of Eezham Tamils. Even in the elections, the rural participation was more than 80% while the urban population stood just above 40%. Most of the Tamil parliamentarians have become urban-centered after getting elected by the rural population and they want to keep the rural population in dark. If 2016 doesn't bring a political solution as promised by Mr Sampanthan, the people, the ITAK and the TNA will risk its future, he said.

The Tami polity cannot achieve anything if its mind-set is primarily orientated towards serving the interests of foreign powers and hoping to achieve something only on the mercy of the external stakeholders, he said.

The enormous amount of data, documenting the widespread oppression and the structural problems faced by Tamils by the Sinhala militarization has not been properly gathered and organized by the Tamil political or civil groups so far.

The wish of Tamil people is Tamil Eelam. But, Colombo will not allow it. There Tamil political leadership should demand the Colombo government to deliver an alternative political solution without giving up the fundamentals. Colombo is primarily responsible in delivering a political solution, he said.

The organizing of information is critical not only to confront those suggesting minimalistic solution, but also to convince the people in the South that only through a real commitment for equality without ethnic, regional and other forms of structural oppression a better future could be achieved.

One should honour the humanity of others. The humanity of Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims should be mutually honoured by each other.

The military constructing tourist hotels at the soil of Mullaiththeevu, which was soaked by the blood of Tamils is insulting the humanity of Tamils.

The Tamil people have been sharp in conveying the message that the North and East should be a single unit.

The systematic expulsion of Tamils from their traditional villages and changing the entire demography took a violent form in 1984. This was linked to Mahaweli scheme. The project to wedges north and east is still being aggressively taken forward, he said. The military is behind Sinhala colonisation. Colombo regime has intentionally dropped building bridges connecting the Tamil population across the eastern coast, he said.

The militarisation should be immediately ended. It has reached a level that even the regime in Colombo is getting dictated by the military on land issues, the former land commissioner of the Eastern Province said.

The people are kept in dark instead of politicians and civil groups empowering the people with information, guidance on securing land deeds and on demanding compensations for the losses caused to their property, he said substantiating his arguments with data on military land grab in the North and the East.

80% of the 10,919 acres, still in SL military possession in the Jaffna district are private lands. SL military has occupied 34,362 acres in Mullaiththeevu, 22,242 acres in Mannaar and a total of 67,000 acres of public and private lands are in SL military possession in North alone, he said.

There are more than 89,000 war widows in North and East. 45,000 are in East and 25,000 are in the Batticaloa district alone. The situation of Tamil women is pathetic in Paduvaan-karai area.

Among the 25,000 war widows in Batticaloa district, 3,015 had experienced their husbands getting gunned down right in front of them. They live in trauma, he said.

At Unnichchai, people live without water supplies while water transported from there is reaching the urban areas, he said.

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