Eastern Provincial Land authority discriminates Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 23:45 GMT]
The Department of Land Administration in the Eastern Province is ethnically biased against the Tamil-speaking people of the district, Tamil civil officials at the District Secretariat said. Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians such as K Thuraratnasingham are very well aware of the ethnic discrimination, but they have been unable to bring any change due to the collaborationist agenda of Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, the officials said. The discrimination has escalated in recent times and the Sinhala officials are systematically ignoring the requests coming from the Divisional Secretaries of the Tamil-speaking divisions in the district. Requests for convening Land Kachcheri are also being neglected to escape resolving the burning issues of uprooted Tamil people.

Many land-owners among the uprooted Tamils are unable to gain access to their lands despite being in possession of land deeds to prove their ownership.

SL Forest Department has seized their lands and claims these as ‘state lands’. The Eastern Provincial administration is systematically dodging to address the disputes despite repeated requests to do so.

Provincial Land Commissioner is the head of the Department of Land Administration.

Land matters are said to be decentralized to divisional level and it is executed by the Divisional Secretariat. But, DS officials need assistence by Land Officers, Colonization Officers and field instructors to resolve the complicated matters.

Eastern Provincial Land Commissioner D.D. Anura Dharmadhasa, a Sinhala official, has already come under fire from Tamil-speaking activists in the Eastern Province for his open support to extremist Sinhala Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force), especially on the controversial erection of Buddha statue at Maayak-kalli-malai in Ampaa'rai.

The Provincial Land office has been controlled by Colombo since the de-merger of North-East and the establishment of the office on 01 January 2007 in Trincomalee.

The land alienation, administration and management of settlement scheme other than ‘inter provincial schemes’ such as the Mahaweli scheme come under the purview of the Provincial Council administration.

 

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