Feature Article

Colombo accelerates Sinhala colonisation of strategic Tamil village of Thiriyaay in East

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 May 2017, 20:39 GMT]
The SL Government Agent of Trincomalee, N.A.A.Pushpakumara, has seized hundreds of acres of agricultural and residential lands that belong to uprooted Eezham Tamils in the ancient Tamil village of Thiriyaay, which is located 42 km north of Trincomalee city in Kuchchave'li administrative division. Most of the lands seized from Tamils have been ‘leased’ out to Sinhala business people from South, Tamil civil sources in the Divisional Secretariat told TamilNet. Thiriyaay has a major archaeological site. It is one of the remaining places showing strong legacies of Tamil Buddhism in the island belonging to Mahayana Buddhism. The ancient Tamil Buddhist site was protected by the Tamil Tigers when the area was under their control. After 2009, the occupying Sinhala colonists have been destroying Saiva (Hindu) temples and they have been also been distorting the Tamil Buddhist heritage.

Kokku'laay to Trincomalee
The Eastern coast from Kokku'laay to Trincomalee [Satellite Image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]


Location of Pulmoaddai, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li
Location of Pulmoaddai, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li [Satellite Image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
The ancient Tamil village lies between Kuchchave'li and Pulmoaddai in the Trincomalee district. The Sinhala encroachment has been taking place in large scale along Trincomalee-Kandy highway and Trincomalee-Anuradhapura highway.

The village, situated at an important location in the communication route of the eastern coast of the island, faced repeated ethnic massacres. Tamils were forced to flee from their village in mid 1980's.

About 1,500 Tamil families lived in the village when the Sri Lanka Army launched military operation in 1990.

Now, SL President Maithiriapala Sirisena, who hails from Polonnaruwa district, which is bording the Eastern Province, is deploying sophisticated ways for alienating Tamil lands to Sinhala settlers through Sinhala officials through the Colombo-centric administrative system.

A location map the ferry point of Yaan Oya, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li
A location map the ferry point of Yaan Oya, Thiriyaay, Pudavaik-kaddu and Kuchchave'li [Image courtesy: Google Earth]


A Sinhala colonist from South, who initially leased 10 acres of lands, has been provided with additional 300 acres of agricultural lands. He is exploiting poverty-stricken Eezham Tamils by employing them paying only 12,000 rupees (78 USD) per month as salary, Tamil families in Thiriyaay said.

Some time back, the Sinhala GA was collecting details of uprooted Tamils, who were yet to claim their lands. Now, most of these lands have been transferred to southern Sinhala businessmen from Colombo, Gampaha and Kurnegala under the cover of ‘long-term lease’.

The period of leasing often ranges from 39 years to 99 years, civil sources from Thiriyaay said.

A.P.Galappathtige Chandradasa, the Sinhala chairperson of Eastern Provincial Council, who represents Ampaa'rai district in the council, has also grabbed 10 acres of lands in Thiriyaay.

The sister of Trincomalee GA, who resides in Kurunegala has also gained 10 acres of the seized lands through her brother.

A secretary of a former SL Minister is also among those who have grabbed lands of Tamils at Thiriyaay through, the informed sources further said.


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