Feature Article

Destroyed East villages, MP chronicles history

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 March 2008, 16:33 GMT]
"Population of Sinhalese in the East was a mere 0.53 percent in 1827 but due to systematic colonisation and subsequent establishment of military camps along the borders of traditional Tamil areas, Sinhala settlers encroached into more than 25 percent of land owned by Tamils," said Maavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, addressing, as the chief guest, to a gathering in Colombo Saturday on the occasion of the release of a book "Destroyed Tamil villages," authored by fellow Member of Parliament (MP), S.Jeyananthamoorthy, literary sources in Colombo said. T. Kangasabai, Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian presided the function.

Book: Destroyed villages of the east
Book: Destroyed villages of the east
"The Sinhala political parties have now begun confiscating the lands of not only Tamils but also of Muslims in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampaa'rai districts, Mr Maavai Senathirajah said.

"Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse's regime has gone further enforcing military activities in Tamil areas, driving a wedge among communities, arousing hatred and committing genocide in the East.

"Late parliamentarian K.W.Devanayagam, even though he had opposing views, yet he took action against the forced encroachment of Tamil lands in the East. In the past, a number of people from the East have died fighting against aggression and encroachment of lands owned by Tamils," MP Maavai Senathirajah said.

The author of the book, TNA MP S.Jeyananthamoorthy, speaking at the function charged that paramilitary groups in East are collaborating with Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in destroying the resources of Tamils, confiscating their lands and are involved in other nefarious activities to the impediment of that region.

"These activities have been now well documented and will serve as historical lessons for tomorrow's community," Mr.Jeyananthamoorthy added.

Batticaloa district parliamentarians P.Ariyanarenthiran, K. Thangeswary, Ampaa'rai district parliamentarians K.Pathmanathan, Chandrakankanthan Chandranehru, Trincomalee district parliamentarian Thurairatnam, Ex-MP M.K.Eelaventhan, Secretary General of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) Inthrakumar Prasanna, S.Devaraj Editor of weekly edition of Veerakesari, a number of dignitaries, and Government employees participated in the event.

Maavai Senathirajah
Maavai Senathirajah, Deputy Leader of TNA parliamentary group.

Extracts from the book follows:

Recorded history of Sri Lanka indicates Tamil community was first targeted for attack by Sinhala community in 1956. However, in the aftermath of the Sinhala-Tamil riots in 1958, Tamils residing in the border villages were often attacked by both Sinhalese as well as Muslims, the third minority group in Sri Lanka. Tamils were affected in various ways including mass scale massacres, loss of property and land encroachments.

Tamils in every part of the island suffered heavily during the 1983 July riots. However, the incidents described in the book “Destroyed Tamil Villages” refer only to the violent killings that took place in the East after the commencement of Eelam War-2.

This book while describing the origin of the border villages of Tamils in Batticaloa - Ampaa'rai districts, their characteristic features, the general pattern of life of the residents of these villages also provides details regarding when and by whom these hamlets were destroyed.

The detailed facts about the horrendous events that took place in 24 Villages from the two districts are documented in this book. The villages in Batticaloa district include Mayilanthanai, Meeraavoadai, Ki'n'niyadi, Puluddumaanodai, Thaanthaamalai, Sinnavaththai, Vaakarai, Thoa'nithaaddamadu, Thiyaavaddavaan, Oamadiyaamadu, Ka'n'napuram 35th colony, Valaiyi'ravu, Ea’raavoor, Saththurukko'ndaan, Ve'l'laamaichcheanai, Pullumalai, Vadamunai, Kokkaddichoalai, Makizhadiththeevu, and other villages including Veeramunai, Thangkavealaayuthapuram, Karavaahu, Thiraaykkea'ni, Udumpanku'lam in Ampaa'rai district.

The book has spotlighted to the outside world that whenever Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres attacked Sri Lanka Army (SLA) during Eelam War -2, the troops run amok in the adjoining villages and stage revenge killings, commit sexual assaults and rape, loot the valuables, and pave the path for land encroachment driving out local residents.

The author has chronicled in his book some of the mass scale killings of SLA including:
  • 10.11.86 when the SLA troops opened fire in Pullumalai, a border village in the western part of Batticaloa District 320 civilian were killed and more than fifty civilians disappeared.
  • 1990.06.14 250 people were murdered by troops in Batticaloa- Ampaa'rai border village Ka'n'napuram
  • 1990.09.05 158 people arrested by SLA in the area were shot to death inside the campus premises of Vanthaa'rumoolai University
  • 1990.09.09 184 Civilians arrested during a roundup in Saththurukko'ndaan were killed within the SLA camp.
  • 1991.06.12 102 were killed during indiscriminate shooting by SLA in Makizhadiththeevu in Kokkaddichoalai.
  • 1987.01.28 65 civilians were shot to death by the army in Kokkaddichoalai.
  • 1986.02.19 128 civilians of Udumpanku'lam in Ampaa'rai district were hacked to death by SLA troopers. Resettlement is being done now after a lapse of 17 years.
  • 1990 SLA troops together with Muslim Home guards were involved in number of attacks in Veeramunai village in Ampaa'rai district resulting in the death and disappearance of many civilians:
    • 90.06.20 10 were killed
    • 90.06.29 58 killed, 36 disappeared.
    • 90.08.10 7 women were murdered
    • 90.08.11 17 were killed
    • 90.08.12 33 were killed and more than 150 injured
  • Muslim thugs with the assistance of Special Task Force (STF) hacked to death 36 civilians and caused severe injuries to another 46 in the village of Thiraaykkea'ni in Ampaa'rai district
  • 1992.08.09 SLA and Muslim home guards murdered 35 and injured more than 10 in Mayilanthanai.
  • 1987.05.27 17 people were killed in Thoa'nithaaddamadu village located within Koaraalaippattu North District Secretary’s administrative area.
  • 1990. Mid June 25 civilians arrested during a round up in Thaanthaamalai 40th Mile Post have disappeared without any trace.
  • 1987 14 Civilians arrested by SLA never returned home.
The author charges SLA of murdering several young women after sexually assaulting them. The book, describes as planned acts by the Sri Lanka military, how the troops arrive at the site of crime of after a lapse of a few hours, and instead of providing protection to the area, forcibly load the residents and transport them to some other areas.

No compensation was paid to the families of the victims. In addition even though there was credible evidence of the SLA troopers involved in these killings, rarely any action taken against the culprits. After most massacres Presidential Commissions were set up to hold enquiries, but commissions have produced no actionable reports, rarely indicating culpability of security forces.

Tamil residents from Chinnavaththai within Poaratheevupattu District Secretary’s area, Oamadiyaamadu within Koaralaippattu North District Secretary’s area and Vadamunai village in Koaralaippattu South District Secretary’s administrative area were evicted and well planned colonisations were implemented annexing lands of Tamils.

People displaced from places such as Vaaharai, Valaiyi’ravu, Ki’n’niyadi are still living as refugees within the military camps in the two districts, the author states. Further, Muslim thugs acting together with SLA have committed violence against residents of Meeraavoadai, Thiyaavaddavaan and Ea’raavoor.

The author has highlighted how the late Minister and former leader of Muslim Congress, Ashraf, turned a Tamil village Meenoadaikkaddu into a Muslim area.

Destroyed Tamil villages

15.01.07  Unfolding misery
11.01.07  Vaharai tragedy
07.01.07  SOS from Vaharai


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