Wild elephant goes on rampage killing one in Vadamaraadchi East, Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2017, 19:11 GMT]
A 50-year-old man who went to a palmyra grove at Vaththiraayan in Uduththu'rai in Vadamaraadchi East of Jaffna district to collect firewood was brutally killed by a wild elephant that went on rampage in the early hours of Monday. Two men survived the attack with injuries. This is the first time a wild elephant has managed to enter Vadamaraadchi East in the recent times. The fatality comes as the SL authorities failed to take action despite eyewitnesses reporting about the wild elephant on Friday. Nobody has ever spotted a wild elephant in Vadamaraadchi East and this is the first fatality due to wild elephant attack in Jaffna district in the recent years. The area where the incident took place is a marshland surrounded by waters and the area, lacking potable water and consumable vegetation, is not fit for the survival of elephants.

Occupying Colombo's Wildlife Department and Forest Department officials have been collaborating in bringing wild elephants from Sinhala areas in the South into the jungles in the North-East, especially after the end of genocidal war in Vanni 2009.   As a result, tens of resettling Eezham Tamils have been killed and several properties destroyed, particularly in the Eastern district of Batticaloa, which is bordering Polonnaruwa jungle. Similar attacks have also been reported in Mullaiththeevu, Vavuniyaa and Mannaar districts after 2009.   Apart from the wild-elephants, many orphaned elephants that were kept in the Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Camp in Sabaragamuwa province in the South have also been brought into Mullaiththeevu jungle in the recent past.   Recently, the SL Wildlife Department was also expanding Chu'ndik-ku'lam bird sanctuary in Vadamaraachi East.   Tamil activists allege that the SL Department was having a hidden agenda of genocidal land grab. 

Through various programs and by deploying SL military at the region, the SL State has been aiming to permanently choke Jaffna by turning the narrow strip of Chu’ndikku’lam sandbar, which links the peninsula with Vanni mainland, into a Sinhala colony with tourist resorts, liquor shops, prawn farming industry and by encouraging southern fishermen to seize the fishing beds. 

The elderly people and women, who use to collect deadwood from the thickets of Ka'ndal vegetation and from the palmyra groves, have been chased away by the SL military, which is collaborating with the Forest and Wildlife departments of occupying Colombo.    The SL military which claims to be in possession of helicopter-assisted technology to trace humans in the think jungles, has been unable to trace the wild-elephant in the marshland, the villagers complain.   The slain victim was identified as Sittampalam Sathiyaseelan.

One of the two men who survived the attack, V. Murukan, has lost one foot.   Tension prevails in Uduththu’rai and hundreds of families have moved closer to the main roads and the highway.   The fishermen societies and representatives of rural development societies have urged the authorities to take immediate action to capture and relocate the wild elephant away from Vadamaraadchi East.


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