Feature Article

Muslims next target of demographic, structural genocide in northern Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 July 2017, 11:10 GMT]
After waging physical, economic and demographic genocide against the Eezham Tamil villages surrounding the Kokku’laay lagoon for decades, genocidal Colombo has intensified a systematic demographic genocide against Tamil-speaking Muslims of ilmenite-rich Pulmoaddai (புல்மோட்டை/Pulmōṭṭai/Pulmoddai) since 2010, say Muslim activists who have been confronting the occupation in all directions. In a recent in-depth interview to TamilNet, former Village Officer (GS) Abdul Salam narrates how the land grab has been systematically stepped up and jointly waged by SL ministries, departments, Sinhala Army, Navy, STF commandos, Buddhist monks, ‘home guards’ paramilitary and the encroachers from bordering divisions of Trincomalee and Anurahapura since 2010. The occupation is relentlessly crushing the Tamil-speaking Muslims regardless of the regime change and change of the guard in Colombo.

Padavi Sri Pura demographic changes target Sinhalicisation of Thennai-maravadi and Pulmoaddai
Tamil village of Thennaimaravadi and Tamil-speaking Muslim villages in Pulmoaddai are being systematically targeted through demographic changes taking place through the bordering Padavi Sri Pura Sinhala division

Ethnic pattern of administrative divisions in Trincomalee district
Ethnic pattern of administrative divisions in Trincomalee district [Image courtesy: SL Department of Census and Statistics, Trincomalee District, - Preliminary Report - Based on Special Enumeration - 2007]
Shown within the box is the target area of Colombo discussed in the feature
Kokku'laay to Trincomalee
The Eastern coast from Kokku'laay to Trincomalee [Satellite Image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]
PGIAR's Yan Oya Middle Basin project
The PGIAR project area for 2011-2015. Note how it borders the Eastern Province and gets into the North and East link at the narrow corridor at Thennaimaravadi-Pulmoaddai. The research area overlaps with the territory, where the Colombo-government is now intensely spearheading a Sinhala colonisation programme to wedge the North and East. [Image courtesy: yanoyaarchaeology.com]
Addressing Sinhala land grab in Pulmoaddai should be a matter of priority for Eezham Tamils as well as for Tamil-speaking Muslims in the North-East as it is situated at the crucial location bordering the Northern and Eastern provinces.

The villages, surrounding the Kokki’laay lagoon and traditionally populated with Tamil-speaking people are strategically important for the territorial integrity and contiguity of the Tamil homeland across the provincial borders of the Northern and Eastern provinces.

A hand-drawn map provided by the activists in Pulmoaddai indicates the locations of Sinhala land grab in the predominant Muslim GS divisions in Pulmoaddai.

Pulmoaddai, located in Kuchchave'li division of Trincomalee district, is bordering Mullaiththeevu district in the North and the lagoon of Kokku’laay separates the two districts.

All the villages surrounding Kokku’laay lagoon have been targeted by a systematic programme of Sinhala colonization.

Apart from its strategic location, Pulmoaddai is also Ilmenite-rich as it is home to one of the richest deposits of Titanium ore in the world. Global powers engaged in energy politics armed with nuclear weapons such have also shown interest in the acquiring the raw material either processed or unprocessed.

During the late 1980's and in the beginning of 90's, some Sinhala villagers from Padavi Sri Pura were brought into Pulmoaddai and nearby Tamil village of Thennai-maravadi.

After the Indian military (IPKF) was withdrawn, a full-scale war broke out between the SL military and the LTTE in 1990. The SL military blocked the roads in Pulmoaddai and Thennai-maravadi villages.

Now, Thennai-maravadi GS division has been almost fully lost to Sinhala colonisation.

In the video interview Mr Abdul Salam narrates how the land grab has been targeting the Tamil-speaking Muslims in Pulmoaddai since 2010 in an accelerating manner.

27th Gajaba Battalion of the occupying Sri Lanka Army, SLNS Ranweli of the occupying SL Navy are responsible for the main military land grab along with the STF, SL Police and the home guards paramilitary. SL Forest Department, Mahaweli based Yan Oya development authorities and almost all major industries ignore Muslims in employment.

The Sinhala occupation has not even left the grazing lands of Muslim dairy farmers.

SL military is actively engaged in erecting Buddha statues and expanding the already seized areas. An army of Buddhist monks have also invaded separate locations in the Muslim dominated Pulmoaddai.

Sri Lanka’s Postgratuate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), based in Colombo and exclusively staffed by Sinhalese, has undertaken a special project called “Yan Oya Middle Basin” research for the years 2011-2015, which was focussing on the narrow corridor at Thennaimaravadi-Pulmoaddai.

The research area overlaps with the territory, where the Colombo-government is now intensely spearheading a Sinhala colonisation programme to wedge the North and East.

Rural Society Leader Mira Mohideen Munir narrates how the resettlement of uprooted villagers remain systematically suppressed for a long time now. Their appeals to politicians, ruling Sinhala politicians, Muslim politicians and to the Tamil opposition leader R. Sampanthan have gone in vain, he says.

A document prepared by the Muslim activists in Pulmoddai lists the 10 most precarious land grab schemes that have been expanding since 2010 in Pulmoaddai.

As an immediate solution to the problem, Muslim activists also demand a separate administrative division for Pulmoaddai to defend their interests.

Tamil politicians, civil society, people’s movements and grassroots activists should realize the interests of Tamil-speaking Muslims in Pulmoaddai should be strengthened by the larger interests of a merged North and East and the territorial integrity of the homeland of Tamil-speaking people.

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
10 localities of land grab in Pulmoaddai
A document listing 10 localities of land grab, most of the SL military and Buddhist monks backed, in predominantly Muslim Pulmoaddai in Kuchchave'li DS division of Trincaomalee district.

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