India's Champoor power project, a terrible scandal, say activists

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 May 2008, 19:44 GMT]
While India's National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) Chairman Ram Charan Sharma told the media that the 500-MW thermal power project in Champoor in Trincomalee district will be one of the largest infrastructure investment in Sri Lanka, residents and rights activists complained that the Indian decision to pick Champoor for the power project had added to the Champoor displaced people's misery. "I have interacted with Indian diplomats (in Colombo) and am certain they are very sensitive to the human rights and humanitarian issues. But if India is involved in this, it will be a grave disappointment, even a terrible scandal," the activist told the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), the agency reported.

"The Indian project that seeks to provide electricity to Sri Lanka's war-hit east has run into rough weather amid allegations that it will displace Tamils who have lived in the area for generations," IANS agency reported. "India is getting involved in a highly controversial project. The rights of the people are not being respected," the report quoted a rights activist as saying.

Sections of the Sri Lankan establishment are advocating to shift the proposed coal power plant from the location identified earlier in 2002 near Veppankuda, above the Marble Beach, to Sampoor region on the opposite side of Koddiyar Bay.
Champoor is a large and populous fishing village overlooking Trincomalee port. The Sri Lanka military seized Champoor from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after heavy fighting that left at least 350 civilians dead and hundreds injured and depopulated the area. Colombo declared Champoor a High Security Zone, making it out of bounds for civilians, most of whom now live in refugee camps in the neighbouring district of Batticaloa.

"Indian arguments that the coal-based plant is meant to benefit locals in Trincomalee are having no effect on rights activists and the thousands who fled the region after fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the military," the report said.

A joint venture company of the NTPC and the Ceylon Electricity Board will implement the project spread over 500 acres of land. A jetty is also to come up in Champoor, according to the current plan.

"The NTPC project will affect a large number of people," the report quoted K. Thurairatnasingham, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP from Trincomalee, as saying. "We have conveyed our feelings to Indian diplomats. Our people cannot accept this," he added. "This is where our forefathers lived. It is the only land in a largely dry area with water resources suitable for cultivation.We are not saying we don't want the project. But why build it in an area that will force Tamils to give up for ever their ancestral land?" the MP asked, according to the IANS report.


Chronology:


External Links:
IANS: India's Sri Lanka power project runs into Tamil storm
FE: NTPC goes global; set to em-power Sri Lanka with joint venture

 

Latest 15 Reports
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
20.06.20 23:53   Photo
Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North
19.06.20 23:30  
Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East
18.06.20 21:02  
Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East
17.06.20 22:12  
SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=25608