Tension in Ratnapura following attack on Upcountry Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 September 2010, 08:18 GMT]
More than 100 Upcountry Tamil families were displaced after Sinhalese estate workers burnt their houses and properties in Kiribatgala rubber plantation in Nivithigala in Ratnapura district Monday night. The attack on Tamils comes following the killing of a Sinhala estate watcher who was found dead Monday after being abducted by unidentified persons Sunday night. Tension prevails between in the district following the outbreak of the violence. Tamils in the district complain that they have been increasingly targeted by Sinhala mobs in recent times.

Two houses of upcountry Tamils were burnt down and several houses were looted by gangs led by the attackers.

Over 200 persons belonging to the Tamil families living in Dela division in the Kiribatgala estate has taken refuge in the neighbouring estates.

Tamils in the area have been subjected to threats for a long time.

Sinhala hoodlums in Rakwana town in the district have been targeting Tamil women who return home after work in garment factories, and rob them of their gold jewelry and other valuable articles. At least ten such incidents were reported throughout the past 4 years.

Three years ago, in February 2007, seven houses of Tamils were allegedly burnt down by a Sinhala mob.

Tamil passengers in a bus were severely assaulted by a group of Sinhalese in December 2006 in the Sinhala town of Nivitigala.

In April 2006, Sinhala attackers destroyed 84 housing units of Tamil plantation workers in Bambegama Estate in the district.

In mid 2006, Tamil workers in Depidin estate in Rakwana were intimidated and warned.


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