Nullified ownership of lands not revoked by Colombo: resettled Champoor Tamils

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 June 2017, 23:40 GMT]
Occupying Colombo has once again proved its systematic violation of traditional land ownership rights of Eezham Tamils to their private lands in Champoor, complain representatives of Vinaayakar Community Centre (Chana-chamooka-nilaiyam) from Champoor in Moothoor East of Trincomalee district. The families in Champoor had residential and agricultural lands as combined tracts of lands that measured from 0.5 acre to 2 acres per family before they were uprooted from their village in September 2006. Now, the occupying Colombo wants to limit their ownership rights to just 20 perches per family, the representatives of Vinaayakar Community Centre told TamilNet on Friday.

The SL State appropriated the private lands of Eezham Tamils in Champoor after uprooting the Tamils from Moothoor East by waging a genocidal military onslaught on them in September 2006.

Later, in 2012, the SL ‘State acquired’ lands were handed over to SL Board of Investment by the then SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa through a Gazette notification.

Released lands


In 2015, the incumbent SL President Maithiripala Sirisena allowed the people to resettle in Champoor by promising to release 818 acres of lands. He revoked the 2015 Gazette notification of transfer of lands to BOI. But, the initial seizure of lands, which was carried out according to a previous order under the clause of the proviso to S.38A of the constitution of the unitary State in Colombo, has not been properly revoked.

Instead of restoring the original ownership of lands, occupying Colombo is now trying to re-define the ownership based on its current laws for new alienation of State lands to private parties.

Under these provisions, a family could only expect 20 perches of lands, Colombo's officials have informed the families. These lands are now seen only as residential lands, they were told.

The people of Champoor have vowed to launch a continues protest if Colombo fails to legally restore their original rights to lands.

in the meantime, the occupying Colombo wants to set up a solar power plant at Champoor in the lands it had previously seized for the purpose of setting up a coal power plant involving India.

A lot of agricultural lands belonging to Tamils were illegally seized for the purpose of power plant. As the coal power plant project has been abandoned, the people were expecting also their lands to be released to continue their livelihood of agriculture and farming. Now, the hopes of resuming their livelihood are again dashed, civil activists in Trincomalee said.


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