Feature Article
2ND LEAD (Correction)

Colombo deploys extremist Sinhala monk to escalate Tamil-Muslim divide in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2017, 20:22 GMT]
Batticaloa district organizer of Sarath Foneseka's ‘Democratic Party’, which is aligned with Ranil Wickramasinghe's UNP, is responsible for involving the Sinhala Buddhist extremist monk in Batticaloa Ampitiye Sumanarathna Thero to confront Muslims who are at loggerheads with Tamils in a land dispute at Mu’raavoadai village in Batticaloa, informed sources in Vaazhaichcheanai said. On Tuesday, the controversial monk, known for abusive language and violent behaviour against Eezham Tamils, was taking the side of Tamils in a showdown against Muslims. Setting Tamil-speaking Muslims against Eezham Tamils has again become a tactic being adopted by the Colombo regime in recent months to sabotage Tamil-Muslim unity towards the demand for merged North-East. In the meantime, Sinhala colonisation has been stepped up in all directions surrounding Kokku’laay lagoon to wedging North and East.

The war-ravaged village of Mu’raa-oadai is situated 5 km south of Vaazhaichcheanai town.

Eezham Tamils living in the village were chased away by Muslims twice during the times of war.

The houses of Tamils were burnt down by Muslims backed by the occupying Sinhala military in 1985 during the emergence of Tamil militant movements.

During the late 1980s, when the Indian military intervened in the dispute through the so-called Indian Peace Keeping Force, a road was put up as a border between Muslim and Tamil areas from East to West (Mu’raavoadai to Ko’ndaiyan-kea’ni).

In 1990, when Eelam War II broke out, Muslim paramilitary ‘home guards’ joined Sinhala military in chasing Tamils away from Mu’raa-oadai. The occupying Sinhala military had put up a camp near Kaa’li temple in 1993 seizing the lands of 46 Tamil families.

Resettlement commenced during Ceasefire agreement between the Colombo government and the Tamil Tigers in 2002. But, following the break out of the genocidal war in 2007, the SL military again put up a military base there.

The occupying Sinhala military vacated from the military base in 2014 and Tamil villagers again started to resettle there. A Bo tree and a small Buddha temple worshipped by the Sinhala soldiers were left behind by the soldiers and the resettling villagers were afraid of removing them fearing reprisals from the SL military.

Muslim villagers living on the north side of the divide have occupied the lands of Tamils who were reluctant to resettle along the border due to the hostile environment.

The poverty stricken and war affected Tamil villagers blame the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian S. Yogeswaran for failing to address their concerns. The TNA parliamentarian in his turn blamed the public for failing to properly brief him on the problems they were facing.

In the meantime, ‘Democratic Party’ organiser of the district V. Maheswaran has intervened bringing the extremist monk into the dispute. Mr Maheswaran is being promoted by Sarath Foneska and is operating closely with the UNP Establishment in Batticaloa. The former commander of genocidal SL military who was later court-martialed by the Rajapaksa regime due to internal political rivalry, was promoted to newly created rank of Field Marshal in 2015 by the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena. He is now SL Minister of ‘Regional Development’.


The monk is targeting to get the backing of the poverty stricken and mostly female-led Tamil families to erect a Buddhist temple at the locality in turn of chasing out the Muslim occupants.

The monk was already exposed for a similar sinister move at Thampalavaththai village in Poaratheevup-pattu (Ma’ndoor) division in 2014. The people had to confront the monk later. However, the dispute at Thampalavaththai, situated 22 km south of Batticaloa city, was resolved through the courts a year later with a ruling that private owners were entitled to the lands demanded by Sumanarathna Thero.

On Monday, NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was also complaining to the visiting UN country team that SL minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who has been creating communal disharmony between Tamils and Muslims in Mullaiththeevu district.


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