Colombo continues to demographically erase Tamil villages in Ampaa'rai
[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 2016, 08:32 GMT] Uprooted Eezham Tamils from Kanakar-kiraamam village in Ampaa'rai district complain that their lands have been permanently seized by Maithiripala Sirisena's Mahaweli Ministry in Colombo through SL Forest Department in December 2015. Colombo continues to deploy Sinhala military at Tamil settlements. The Tamil villagers who received permit lands in mid 1970s have been unable to renew their permits as they were uprooted from these settlements. The mechanisms that come under the provincial and central ministries operate with the motive of permanently erasing these settlements. Ever since 1956, when the Tamils in the district were chased out from their traditional and later settlements for the first time, the successive regimes in Colombo have operated against resettlement of Tamils in Ampaa'rai, Tamil civil officials complain citing the latest example of Kanakar-kiraamam.
Kanakar-kiraamam, located 7 km north of Poththuvil, comes under Thirukkoayil administrative division.
A Tamil Assistant Land Commissioner operating under the Sinhala Commissioner of Lands in the Eastern Province visited Ampaa'rai district at the end of November 2015 and promised half an acre of land to each of the uprooted families from Kanakar-kiraamam in order to commence their resettlement.
However, the Sinhala Government Agent of Ampaa'rai district Thusitha P. Vanigasinghe, who was also present during the meeting, was later giving contradicting instructions, complain the uprooted Eezham Tamils from Kanakar-kiraamam.
In the meantime, genocidal Colombo's Forest Department, which comes under SL President Maithiripala Sirisena's Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry, dashed all hopes of resettlement in the first week of December 2015 by planting border stones claiming the entire forested village as its property.
Despite clear traces of residential buildings in the village, the SL Forest Department is claiming that the entire area is now under its domain.
Kanakar-kiraamam was created in 1978 as a Tamil settlement. 113 acres of lands were allocated to the families numbering between 170 and 200. The lands are permit lands, which need to be renewed on annual basis.
The Tamil people of this village were forced to displace during the war between the LTTE and the Indian military in 1987.
In June 1990, Sinhala commandos of Special Task Force (STF) were deployed to fight the LTTE. The STF, a full-fledged military outfit administratively organised under the SL police, occupied 22 houses in the village to put up a military base there.
As the people were uprooted from the entire village, the Tamil families were unable to renew their annual permits and the area had become forested.
The STF is still deployed north of Kanakar-kiraamam closer to the neighbouring Koamaari village.
The resettlement of Tamils in Kanakar-kiraamam was rejected during the Rajapaksa regime.
Similar occupation of lands has taken place in the Tamil settlements of Kizhangkuch-cheanai, Chelva-ve'li, Kodduk-kal, Thangka-vealaayutha-puram and Udumpan-ku'lam, Tamil civil sources told TamilNet.
Sinhala settlers have occupied fertile agricultural lands at several locations. Muslim politicians, collaborating with successive SL regimes in Colombo, have also diverted the lands of Tamils to their supporters, the sources further said.
Tamil civil officials in Ampaa'rai district also blamed the Indian High Commission for letting down the affected Tamil villagers in Ampaa'ri in allocating houses under the Indian Housing Scheme.
Since Ampaa'rai district was carved out of Batticaloa district in 1961, a systematic demographic genocide was committed against Eezham Tamils reducing them from 23% of the district's population (1963 Census) into 17% (2012 Census).
At the same time, the Sinhalese population increased from 29% to 39%. Tamil-speaking Muslims remain as the majority population constituting 43% of the population.