Feature Article

SL State agencies, occupying military accelerate Sinhalicisation in Madu

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 April 2015, 20:18 GMT]
Two departments of the occupying Sri Lankan State, the Wildlife Department and the Forest Department, have been blocking the uprooted Eezham Tamils from resettling and owning lands in the four villages that come under Poomalarnthaan GS division, which is one of the 17 GS areas of Madu division in the Mannaar District, the uprooted Tamil villagers complain. The policy of social engineering targeting Sinhalicisation of Madu division has not changed under the ‘new’ regime, as these departments seem to compete with each other in the occupation of the lands. The threatening presence of Sinhala soldiers in the villages and the jungles facilitates the occupation. The programme of Sinhalicisation is accelerated following the commencing of railway line to Mannaar, the civil sources said.

The sources also added the SL State has been channelling the funds being obtained from the foreign countries into the demographic genocide against Eezham Tamils in Madu.

A community hall built with external funding at the site of the Sinhala colonisation at Madu Road in Poomalarnthaan GS division in Madu

“The Tamils living abroad should question these States on their role in abetting the sophisticated structural genocide being carried out by the Sri Lankan State,” a Tamil official said. The official was also condemning the Tamil politicians claiming to represent the Eezham Tamils for ignoring the plight of Tamil villagers in Madu DS division.

The Sinhalicisation of Madu division is an old blue print of the Sinhala State. However, the move was halted for two decades due to the armed struggle of Eezham Tamils. But, after the SL military entered the Madu Shrine in 2008, the social engineering has been accelerated by Colombo.

A house built by the People's Bank which ‘celebrated’ its golden jubilee in 2011 by settling 31 Sinhala families in the 50 houses constructed at Poomalarnthaan.

People's Bank Golden Jubilee Housing Project
Madu Road settlement
Different types of huts have also been put up by the intruders from South
Wildlife Dept board at Poomalarnthaan
A board put up by the Wildlife Department at Poomalarnthaan
Church in Poomalarnthaan
A church situated in Poomalarnthaan GS division
Madu Sinhala MV
The Sinhala MV school at Madu Road
In 2011, the Peoples Bank ‘celebrated’ its Golden Jubilee by constructing 51 houses in what was claimed as ‘public lands’. The lands were belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Mannaar. As the construction the houses had been already completed, the Bishop of Mannaar abandoned his complaints and transferred the lands to the Government Agent of Mannaar, informed sources said.

The ‘Golden Jubilee’ of Peoples Bank was celebrated as a function marking a victory of Sinhalese in Tamil land, Tamil civil sources in the division say. 31 families of Sinhalese settlers were brought in from rural villages in Asoakapura, Mihintale and Medawachiya of Anuradhapura district. The SL officials were claiming that these familes were living in Madu ‘before the war’. In fact, only two of three of these families had such connection. The remaining families had no documentary evidence of residing in Madu Road.

Today, the Sinhalese families do not live in these houses, but maintain them as their property. This also proves the intention of occupation, a Tamil civil official said on condition of anonymity. 19 Tamil families were also included in the scheme and they continue to live in their houses.

Madu Road, Poomalarnthaan, Murungkaiyadik-ku'lam and Nedung-ku'lam are the four villages in Poomalarnthaan GS division (MNR/130). The occupation is going on also in other villages, except the Madu Shrine, the villagers say. Except two of the 7 GS divisions, there are no Tamil-speaking Muslims in the division.

A planned Sinhala settlement was created in 1970s at Madu Road, which branches off the main route to Madu shrine, situated in the middle of traditional Tamil area. The Sinhala settlers were running teashops, bakeries, cashew plantations, poultry farms and some of them were also employed as railway employees. All of these settlers returned to their native villages after the intensification of military confrontations.

The Wildlife Conservation Department claims 26,677 hectares of lands under the tag ‘Madu Road’. But, this also includes several other villages and the jungle tracts in other GS divisions beyond the Poomalarnthaan GS division. The WCD officers have no clear demarcation of the lands, which they claim as coming under their purview and they have no right to occupy the private lands, the civil officials in Madu said.

“What they do in practice is that they put up a board first. After a few weeks have elapsed, the officers come back again to plant boundary stones. A few months later, they fence of the area. Thus, the area has now become their property.” In the meantime, the officers belonging to these departments and the SL police would refuse to register the complaints from the owners of the lands.

“Several uprooted Tamil families left Mannaar as refugees to Tamil Nadu in early 1990s are still languishing at the camps in India. All their lands are gone,” a civil official told TamilNet.

“The threatening situation of genocidal land grab has gone to the extent that these departments have started to file cases against the Tamil owners of the lands at Mannaar Magistrate's court,” the official further said.

A large military cantonment of the notorious Special Task Force is situated at Theakkam, the nearby GS division. The SL military is present at Madu Road and at Pa'raiyan-aalang-ku'lam junction. There are several checkposts manned by Sinhala soldiers belonging to the SL Army and the STF.

Madu Road
Madu Road, the location of Sinhala settlement in Madu region
Madu Road, the location of Sinhala settlement in Madu region
Community Hall at Poomalarnthaan
A community hall constructed at the site of Sinhalicisation in Poomalarnthaan GS divsion. The construction of the community house was funded by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with the funds donated by the USA, Canada and the European Commission.

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