Muslims in Ampaa'rai: SL authorities have seized lands for Sinhalicisation

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2018, 21:30 GMT]
Tamil-speaking Muslim activists in Ampaa'rai complain that Sinhala officials have seized 2,541 acres of their lands in 7 different locations within the district in recent years. The SL departments of Archaeology, Wildlife Conservation and Forest Department have occupied the agricultural lands under various pretexts for Sinhalicisation and colonisation, they said. A Muslim organisation has sent a detailed appeal to SL President and urged to release these lands back to the owners.

The SL authorities have seized 600 acres of lands in Ponnan-ve'lik-ka'ndam at Oluvil in Addaa'laich-cheanai division, 750 acres of agricultural lands at Ampalam Oya in Damana division, 59 acres at Bawa-puram in Aalaiyadi-vempu division, 450 acres at Veakaamam in Poththuvil, 505 acres at Kiraan-koavai in Paalaiyadi-vaddai and 177 acres at Kiraan in Koamaari.

Already, Sinhala colonists have seized hundreds of acres of lands belonging to Tamil-speaking Muslims in the divisions of Paa'nama, Damana, Thirukkoayil, Aalaiyadi-vempu, Akkaraip-pattu Addaa'laich-cheanai in Ampaa'rai district in the recent years.

Many of the lands in question initially belonged to Eezham Tamils. Sinhala mobs and paramilitaries working with the SL military had chased away Eezham Tamils from several border villages in these divisions during the and after the anti-Tamil pogroms in 1957, 1958, 1983 and 1990.

In the meantime, Tamil civil officials in Ampaa'rai said that the Sinhala and Muslim divisional secretaries and officials who served at the District Secretariat had transferred many of the lands that belonged uprooted Tamils by changing the records of the land documents that were preserved at the Secretariat.


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