Sinhala encroachers storm into 100 acres of lands at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2019, 22:49 GMT]
A group of Sinhala encroachers, led by Sinhala Buddhist monks, are clearing one hundred acres of lands for the third consecutive day on Saturday at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai. The area is located northwest of Pulmoaddai town and southeast of Kokku'laay lagoon near the cremation of grounds of Tamils. It consists of both the crown and private lands, grassroots activists in Pulmoaddai said. Kuchcha-ve'li Divisional Secretary P. Thaneswaran is reluctant to act against the latest encroachment, Tamil-speaking Muslim activists said. Panamure Thilakawanse Thero, the well known extremist monk is leading the intruders. The monk seems to have the backing of Sajith Premadasa, who is the SL Minister of Housing, Construction and ‘Cultural’ Affairs, the sources further said. When TamilNet contacted the civil officials in Pulmoaddai, they urged immediate media attention to the problem.

The lands in question were agricultural lands before the times of war.

The resettled people were unable to resume agriculture due to SL Forest Department claiming the lands as coming under its domain citing the existence of outgrown trees.

When Tamils or Muslims attempt to enter the lands to clear the forest, the SL Forest Department is quick to block them. However, when Sinhala monks advance the encroachment, there is no reaction from that department.

Panamure Thilakawanse Thero is using the political situation in the South to obtain formal recognition for such encroachment.

He managed to secure a housing scheme for the illegal encroachment at Maalaanoor a few months ago, the civil sources further said.

SL Minister Sajith Premadasa allocated more than 15 houses to the illegal settlers at Maalaanoor through his ministry.

Mr Premadasa with future presidential ambition, is the son of the late Ranasinghe Premadada. He hails from the Hambantota district which is also the native place of former SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Thilakawanse Thero comes from a nearby place in the South. The monk is utilised with a private vehicle to engage in Sinhala Buddhicisation, not only in Pulmoaddai, but in the entire Trincomalee district, the civil sources further said.

Before 1948, some monks were active in the area in an attempt to transform the old traces of a Buddhist temple into Sinhala Buddhist temple.

Now, the monks want to convert the area into a Sinhala settlement by putting up temporary huts and bringing settlers.

Kanneeraavi comes under the GS division of Pulmoddai – 03 (31G).

Sinhala occupation of Pulmoaddai
Sinhala occupation of Pulmoaddai: Muslim activists describe in a hand-drawn map how Sinhala land grab is targeting Pulmoaddai from all the directions as well as locations inside their village

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