Tamil landowners in Vaakarai coerced to sell their coastal lands to external traders

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 December 2016, 23:19 GMT]
Eezham Tamils from Kathirave'li village in the tsunami- and war-ravaged Koara’laip-pattu North (Vaakarai) division of Batticaloa district protested on Wednesday in front of Vaakarai Divisional Secretariat opposing the role of some public servants for coercing Tamil landowners to sell their coastal lands with palm groves to traders belonging other communities. The poverty-stricken Tamils, confronting structural genocide, complained that they were able to stop the open attempts by the Colombo government to Sinhalicise their coastal area. But, it has been difficult to confront the exploitation now coming in different forms. Some Tamil public servants are functioning as brokers in facilitating the transfer of lands against the interests of the Tamil villagers, fisheries society sources in Vaakarai told TamilNet on Thursday.

The external traders use local benamis among the Tamils to purchase the coastal lands in the Tamil division, which was part of the de-facto Tamil Eelam before 2007.

Recently, 40 acres of lands have been sold to external traders through middlemen, the protesting civil activists said.

“Even during the regime of Rajapaksa, we were able to stop such exploitation. But, now, anyone mobilising the masses against these moves are being charged with false accusations by the SL Police, claiming the activists were disrupting public peace or causing hurdles to public servants from carrying out their duty,” a fishermen society leader said. “We were able to stop the direct attempts at Paal-cheanai and at Puchchaak-kea’ni,” he added. “We recovered the lands subjected to demographic exploitation also at Karukkup-panai.”

Now, a respected principal from a school in Vaakarai, who is also a chairman of the temple management of Verukal Chithithira-vealaayutha Temple, has succumbed to the latest exploitation and sold his lands to an external trader through a middleman, the grassroots activists complained.

Similarly, a retired GS and another one employed in Colombo Harbour have opted to sell their lands, which the protesters are trying stop.

Two of these personalities have also been involved in electoral politics on behalf of the TNA.

The ITAK and other parties comprising the TNA should take responsibility and preserve the ownership of lands remain in the hands of Tamils, the protesting villagers said.


Chronology:
15.01.07  Unfolding misery
11.01.07  Vaharai tragedy
07.01.07  SOS from Vaharai

 

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