Feature Article

China proxies get India's closest coast in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 November 2011, 04:41 GMT]
The closest coastline to Tamil Nadu in Jaffna, a 15 km stretch from Thiruvadi Nilai to KKS has been given to a Malaysian corporate of Chinese connections to install windmills and solar panels to produce electricity and 'sell' it to the people of Jaffna, replacing the coastal people and the proud palmyra palms now stand there. In October 2011, the Malaysian corporate, KLS Energy entered into an agreement with China Machinery and Engineering Corporation to 'develop' wind/solar hybrid power project in Jaffna. The agreement was part of Malaysian Prime Minister's US$ 10 billion economic cooperation initiative with China. In an ingenious plan to steal the entire northern coast of Jaffna for the SL military, corporates and ventures of imperialism, genocidal Colombo not only seals off Eezham Tamils from Tamil Nadu, but also effectively checks Indian ambitions there with proxy Chinese projects.

KKS Power Plant
A Sinhala-Buddhist pilgrim centre, 15 km coastal stretch of China-involved energy farm, SL military and naval bases, cement factory and India-built harbour and airport, shown within the area marked red in the map will seal off the northern coast of Eezham Tamils. The stretch is the closest coastline to Tamil Nadu in the North. [Image courtesy: Google Earth]

The SL military installations, Sinhala ‘pilgrim’ centres, Indian built harbour and airport, cement factory and now the coast leased to China-connected Malaysian corporate, while the coastal villages are uprooted and Eezham Tamils are sealed off in their own land, is a classic example of 'development' genocide, raising questions, who decides what is development and whose development.

‘Development’ treading on Eezham Tamil sovereignty of political decision making is re-enactment of colonialism by imperialists and agent imperialists, commented a development academic in Jaffna.

While the people who were forced to leave their villages 20 years ago are refused entry to their homes in the so-called High Security Zone, the Colombo government has grabbed their lands and has given them to the Malaysian company of Chinese connections, KLS Energy, to clear the lands and establish income generating solar and windmill farms.

The lands are given to KLS Energy on a 20-year-long lease.

But the owners of the land have not been given any notice by colonial Sri Lanka occupying the Tamil country.

The civilians were forced out of their villages in 1992 and 1995 and are yet to return to their lands. They now live as uprooted people elsewhere.

Around 60,000 civilians are still struggling to get back to their lands and are living in the so-called ‘Welfare Centres’ or with their relatives and friends. The Sri Lanka Government Agent in Jaffna has admitted that 51 such welfare centres are still operating in the district.

The corporate undertaking the coastal project is KLS Energy Lanka (Pvt.), a ‘subsidiary’ of Malaysia based KLS Energy that has entered into agreement with China's Machinary Engineering Cooperation specifically for the Jaffna project.

The company also says that the KKS power plant would be built under a “private-public partnership which will build, operate and own the power plant for a concession period of 20 years.”

The Malaysian company, reportedly established in 2006, says the project in Jaffna is their first project and spells out its ambition for future in becoming a “multinational conglomerate”.

It describes the project as the largest of its kind in the region outside of Japan and Korea. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012.

The SL government in Colombo has given 15 km long stretch along the coastal strip, promising a “much bigger Installed Capacity” to the Malaysian company.

This particular stretch is the closest point in Jaffna to Koadikkarai (Point Calimere) in Tamil Nadu.

In order to provide an average capacity of 35 MW of electricity supply to Sri Lanka's “National Grid,” Colombo has provided a large area of the so-called High Security Zone.

The company says it is an “Independent Power Producer” under the “Build-Operate-Own” concept.

“The natural sources of the energy are from the Sun and the Wind. The Sun is only available in day time and the Wind is dependent on weather and season of the country and these factors will affect the Installed Capacity of the Power Plant. As such, a much bigger Installed Capacity is required to ensure sufficient energy supply,” the literature of KLS energy said.

In 2003, Washington-based Global Energy Concepts in their study identified Katpiddi in Puththa'lam, Ambewela, the southern coast from Hambantota to Buthawa, Mannaar Island and Jaffna as potential locations to produce wind energy.

Hambantota was dropped out due to environmental concerns.

“Who is to talk about the environment, cultural choice and development priorities of Eezham Tamils. Very soon we may see another corporate coming and selling us drinking water,” the Jaffna academic said.

The ultimate question is who has given the right to these people to operate in the country of Eezham Tamils and to decide what are the development priorities, while not uttering a word on restoring the political decision making sovereignty of the nation of Eezham Tamils, he further said.

Images of the coastline where Colombo's master-plan will seal off Eezham Tamils

KKS Power Plant
KKS harbour and Palaali Airport along the northern coast occupied by SL military and actively 'developed' by India [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
KKS Power Plant
The extent of limestone quarrying in the strip under discussion near KKS, for the cement factory, now sponsored by India. The quarry threatens delicate groundwater conditions in the peninsula and the factory is a health hazard in a densely populated region [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
KKS Power Plant
The palmyra-lined coastline of Thiruvadi-Nilai [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
KKS Power Plant
The major village Maathakal in the strip under discussion, located at the closest coast to Point Calimere (Koadik-karai) of Tamil Nadu [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
KKS Power Plant
The Saiva sacred site of Keerimalai in the strip [Image courtesy: Google Earth]
KKS Power Plant
The beach of Cheanthaan-ku'lam and the palmyra grove of Koovil. Note the double bund laid by the SL military to demarcate the so-called High Security Zone [Image courtesy: Google Earth]

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