People rise up against occupation of Vidaththal-theevu at DDS meeting

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 October 2016, 23:36 GMT]
Former Deputy Chairman of Maanthai West Divisional Council S. Soundaranayagam and rural representatives of various organisations across Maanthai West division in Mannaar on Friday confronted the co-chairs of Divisional Development Committee meeting and the Divisional Secretary of Maanthai West against the structural genocide prevailing in their division. Unable to defend the Colombo system, the co-chairs were forced to conclude the meeting with the decision of instructing the Divisional Secretary M. Sriskanthakumar to officially inform the SL Navy to immediately vacate Vidaththal-theevu jetty and the properties belonging to resettled Tamil fishing families.

The SL Navy, which comes under the executive president of genocidal SL State who is the commander-in-chief of the SL military, has already demonstrated that it would not be entertaining the requests coming through the ministers in the SL cabinet as it is not answerable to the ministers in the parliamentary system of the genocidal State.

Although the occupying SL military would not be respecting any instruction to be conveyed through the Divisional Secretary, the DDC meeting ending with a such conclusion, and that too at the absence of Justice Wigneswaran, has brought the level of anger prevailing among the public, Tamil activists in Mannaar said.

Maanthai West DDC meeting
Ex-Deputy Chairman of elected Divisional Council, Mr Seemanpillai Sountharanayakam, poses serious questions at DDC meeting
Maanthai West DDC meeting
Controversial SL Minister Rishad Bathiudeen co-chairing the DDC meeting with NPC Minister B. Deniswaran at Adampan

The Tamil people of Maanthai West have sacrificed a lot in the Tamil struggle and had displaced several times, especially at the final stages of Vanni war as they were chased by the occupying SL military from Maanthai to Mu'l'livaaykkaal.

After 2009, the entire Maanthai West division has been subjected to the most brutal forms of exploitations being carried out by the occupying SL Army and Navy in the district and the Divisional Secretary has been fully cooperating with the SL Ministers and the occupying Sinhala military, the grassroots representatives of the people complained at the meeting. Musali is another division facing similar intensity of genocidal militarisation.

The complaints of structural genocide coming from the grassroots representatives at the DDC were many: SL Navy refusing access to their jetties and coastal facilities necessary to resume their livelihood; occupation of agricultural lands that have been transformed into military run businesses depriving lands and livelihood to the people; massive-scale sand scooping at Iluppaik-kadavai, Kooraay and along Paali-Aa'ru threatening the civilian settlements, especially during the floods; exploitation of natural resources by the traders coming from South through the facilitation of SL military and the Divisional Secretary; disparity in providing housing schemes to war-affected Tamil families; discrimination in providing transportation infrastructure, especially to the school children; Divisional Secretary favouring his friends; lack of action against rampant wild elephants that have been claiming the lives and destroying properties after being deployed into the jungles in Tamil areas from the jungles of Sinhala South by the SL Wildlife Department; the SL Forest Department aggressively seizing lands through placing GPS-monitored border stones and the activities of Geological Survey and Mines Bureau in their area.

The DDC meetings periodically held at district level and at divisional levels within the districts create a meeting point for elected parliamentarians, councillors, representatives of rural organisations and the service delivery instance led by the Divisional Secretary to discuss and stocktake the progress of development.

The divisional secretaries, appointed by the SL Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs of the unitary State in Colombo, function as the custodians of public lands and are the colonial agents of Colombo in carrying out the functions related to the alienation of public lands at the ground level across 331 divisions in the island.

On Friday, NPC Chief Minister Justice Wigneswaran had deputed his provincial minister of fisheries, transport and rural development B. Deniswaran to co-chair the meeting. The other co-chair of the meeting was SL Government representative and SL minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

Two other parliamentarians from the electoral district of Vanni, Charles Nirmalanathan representing the TNA and Kader Masthan representing the SLFP were also seated along with the co-chairs. NPC councillors Antony S Pirimussiraiva and Abbas Abdul Rifkhan, who is a brother of Mr Bathiudeen, were seated among the public.

TNA parliamentarians present at the meeting and the NPC Minister co-chairing the meeting were heavily criticised by the grassroots representatives.

The former vice chairman of the Divisional Council, although he was elected on TNA ticket, said the TNA had completely failed to deliver what it had promised to the people during the elections.

Mr Deniswaran attempted to defend the NPC. But, he too received flak for the lack of action by his ministry in providing for transportation facilities to schoolchildren at Vidaththal-theevu.

Another DDC meeting in district held earlier on Friday also witnessed the uprising of Tamil grassroots activists at Naanaaddaan division, who posed several questions to the co-chairs of the meeting, news sources in Mannaar said.

Maanthai West DDC meeting
Grassroots activists, RDS representatives and the public attending the DDC meeting

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