Amaithipuram exposes disparity in ‘development’ motives of Colombo, external powers

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 July 2016, 15:37 GMT]
The entire village of Amaithi-puram (peace-town), created in 2012 as a settlement for war-affected, women-headed and uprooted families from Periya-pa’ndi-virichchaan in Mannaar district during the regime of Rajapaksa, is still languishing without proper livelihood support. 250 Eezham Tamils belonging to 47 families are struggling without access to potable water and they lack much-needed road infrastructure. In contrast, Sinhala colonization settlements being created in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils by the genocidal unitary State in South are fully utilized with sustainable and modern solutions in all areas, be it housing, livelihood, education arrangements and state-of-the art road infrastructure. But, in Amaithi-puram, like in several other villages of ‘resettled’ Tamils, even the houses built under the Indian housing assistance have become rotten to the core within 5 years.

Amaithi-puram is situated 1.5 km east of Periya-Pa’ndi-virichchaan on Pa’ndi-virichchaan – Piraman-aalang-ku’lam (Vavuniyaa) Road.

The uprooted war-widows complain that they have to use umbrellas inside the houses during the rainy season. Sinhalese contractors have used abandoned material from Southern factories to construct the houses, the villagers complain adding that several houses will be collapsing in a year or two.

The mothers complain that their school-going children have to brave flooded roads during the monsoon rains.

Despite repeated requests to the regime of Maithiripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickramasinghe, no further assistance than what was initially provided during the Rajapaksa regime has reached the village.

Almost all the houses have wounded people, who survive with shrapnel inside their bodies. Many have lost their limbs. Some of the war-widows have married men who have lost their wives in the genocidal onslaught. There are victims with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. There has been no medial treatment or counseling offered to the resettled villagers.

32-year-old Sagayanayagi Ketheeswaran, mother of two, said the villagers were struggling for their livelihood. They are unable to earn enough for one meal a day, she said.

However, despite all the odds, many of the mothers have raised their children with good education.

The mothers are only worried about the health and safety of their school-going children.

The children with good education lack higher education facilities and employment.

34-year-old Santhini Muralitharan, a mother of two says the villagers, who are largely dependent on agriculture are only able to cultivate on one season. Most of the women are war-widows, she says.

The Chairman of the Rural Development Society, 63-year-old Marusalin Francis Xavier, confirms that all the families survive according to their abilities that are very limited. The families also make their living through small-scale household animal farming.

31-year-old Sobana Jeyakanesh, a mother of four, complains that the people residing inside the houses also have to use umbrellas during the rainy days as the roofing is very bad. The door and window frames have become rotten, she adds.

Flooding is a major problem, says Mr Francis Xavier.

Most of the war-affected women are from Periya-Pa’ndivirichchaan and there are also people from Murungkan, Naa-naaddaan and Uyilang-ku’lam. But, all of them were earlier residing in Periya-pa’ndivirichchaan, which was under the LTTE administration before the genocidal onslaught in 2009.

In 2012, when the settlement was created with Indian housing assistance, each family received ½ acre of lands and electricity supplies.

Since then, no one cared about their livelihood after the initial settlement, the villagers told TamilNet.

All the politicians came to them during the times of elections promising assistance and infrastructure. But, none of them have cared about them, they say.

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