SL Forest Department seizes 1,500 acres of lands opposite Tamil Heroes Cemetery in Champoor

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 June 2019, 12:14 GMT]
Sinhala guards belonging to the SL Forest Department have hurriedly marked many of the outgrown trees in the private agricultural lands at Aalang-ku’lam in Champoor, Trincomalee with the letter ‘F’ claiming the trees as the properties the SL department, Vairamuthu Pathmanathan, the chairperson of Aalang-ku’lam Farmers Federation, said. The SL Forest Department has marked the trees at the extent of 1,500 acres of lands, located just opposite the razed Aalang-ku’lam Tamil Heroes Cemetery where more than 800 LTTE fighters lay buried. The latest move indicates that the SL Forest Department was also claiming the private agricultural lands that belong to the people, who possess deeds and permits to prove their ownership to many plots of farms in the area.

The hostile move has come as the resettled landowners in Champoor were clearing their lands for seasonal cultivation for the past ten days, Mr Pathmanathan said.

The SL Forest Department has seized the large tract of lands starting from the east of Choodaik-kudaa and reaching up to Aalang-ku’lam, the chairperson of the farmers federation said.

The occupying Sinhala Navy, SL Board of Investment and the SL Archaeology Department have already seized thousands of acres of farmlands in Champoor, where the US Indo-Pacific Command is grooming a marine force for the SL Navy after 2009.

The SL Forest Department didn’t take any action when the people complained that the SL Police was backing illegal logging of trees in the public lands last year. However, the SL Forest Department is now making a claim to the trees in the private grounds of the Tamil residents, commented Tamil activists in Champoor.

Aalang-ku’lam is home to the district’s largest Tamil Heroes Cemetery, where the hero stone of Major Ganesh, a senior LTTE commander who died in a battle with the SLA in 1986, and the tomb of Lt. Col. Kunchan were located.

The occupying Sinhala military razed all the burial stones and structures to the ground 13 years ago on 25 November 2006.

However, a large number of Eezham Tamils had gathered at the razed Heroes Cemetery marking an emotional tribute to their heroes on 27 November 2018.


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