Colombo accelerates delinking of Tamil-speaking demographic contiguity in North-East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 June 2018, 22:08 GMT]
SL Governor to East Rohitha Bogollagama, conspiring with the Sinhala-Buddhist establishment and the administrative officials of the unitary state, has instructed the Divisional Secretary of Kuchchave'li to survey 400 acres of lands at Arisimalai, which is located 50 km north of Trincomalee city. The Sinhala colonial governor was arguing in favour of the extremist Sinhala Buddhist monks stating that the lands belong to the Buddhist vihara. The move, which has long been objected by the Tamil-speaking Muslims, is surfacing again at the absence of an elected Provincial Council in the East. Tamil-speaking activists in Pulmoaddai say that the Sinhala Buddhist establishment is trying to survey at least 1,300 acres of lands from Arisimalai to Thiriyaay in the division of Kuchchave'li.

Community members who represent Eezham Tamils and the Tamil-speaking Muslims were not invited to a meeting attended by the SL Governor on 25 June. The decision he took at the meeting came to light at a development coordination meeting.

Rohita Bogollogama was SL Foreign Minister of genocidal Sri Lanka during the final phase of the war against the Eezham Tamils.

He is following the footsteps of Cyril Mathew (1912 - 1989), an outright racist politician of the UNP and was the SL Minister of Industry and Scientific Affairs (1977 - 1986) under J.R. Jayewardene, Tamil-speaking Muslim activists in Pul-moaddai accuse.

Mathew was also well-known for his inflammatory speeches and a publication titled ‘Sinhalese! Rise to Protect Buddhism’.

Panamure Panamure Thilakavanse thero
Panamure Panamure Thilakavanse thero
PGIAR's Yan Oya Middle Basin project
The PGIAR project area for 2011-2015. Note how it borders the Eastern Province and gets into the North and East link at the narrow corridor at Thennaimaravadi-Pulmoaddai. The research area overlaps with the territory, where the Colombo-government is now intensely spearheading a Sinhala colonisation programme to wedge the North and East. [Image courtesy:]
In December 2017, Mr Bogollagama was exposed along with his wife, who was verbally abusing the women at a Tamil temple on the hilltop of Maththa'la-malai in Choodaik-kudaa, south of Trincomalee in December 2017.

In 1984, Cyril Mathew was using his ministerial portfolio to seize lands in the North-East and allocate these to the Sinhala Buddhist temples and to various other colonisation projects.

Now, Panamure Thilakavanse thero, the chief incumbent of Arisimalai Rajamaha Vihara, claims that the late minister Mathew had allocated 500 acres of lands in Arisimalai as the property of the Buddhist vihara. He wants to regain the ‘lost’ property.

But, around 200 Tamil-speaking Muslims are also in possession of land deeds at the same locality. These date from 1946.

In the meantime, the occupying SL Navy has helped the controversial Buddhist monk to seize 100 acres of lands.

Panamure Thilakavanse thero was also clashing with the Muslim residents opposing a housing scheme, which was provided to them after the 2004 Tsunami.

The monk has been making claims for more than 400 acres of additional lands citing Mathew's alleged allocation of the lands to the Buddhist temple in 1984.

Between 2011 and 2015, SL Archaeology Department demarcated more than 800 acres of lands as archaeological reserve citing ‘discovery’ of ancient ruins. The move was part of a controversial field study carried out by the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), exclusively staffed by the Sinhalese.

The PGIAR project was targeting Thennai-maravadi and Pul-moaddai at the lower basin of the Yan-Oya river along the coast and in the interior of the North-East border.

Following this project, Buddhist monks started to make claims for 3,400 acres of lands from Arisi-malai to Thiriyaay.

In 2016, Tamil-speaking Muslims protested against the attempt to survey these lands.

The term of the elected Eastern Provincial Council ended on 01 October 2017, and the SL Governor is trying to accomplish the land grab before the next elected council gets instituted, the grassroots activists in Pul-moaddai say.

A location map the ferry point of Yaan Oya, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li
A location map the ferry point of Yaan Oya, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
Kokku'laay to Trincomalee
The Eastern coast from Kokku'laay to Trincomalee [Satellite Image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]

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