Tamils mobilise against Colombo's move to exploit coastal belt of Thirukkoayil

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 December 2017, 17:53 GMT]
Around 3,000 Tamil people from Thirukkoayil division of Ampaa'rai district on Wednesday took to the streets and marched against the move by the occupying unitary State in Colombo to exploit the mineral resources of 20 km long coast of Thirukkoayil. The move by occupying Colombo, dubbed as development, is nothing but sand mining which is detrimental to the coast of Eezham Tamils, the villagers said. A private company, Damsila Exports Pvt Ltd from South, is also involved in the move, the agitating villagers said.

The protesters blamed the Divisional Secretariat for granting permission to proceed with the exploitation.

But, the Divisional Secretary told the protesters that his office only had advisory role as the coastal strip in question fell under the domain of the Coast Conservation Department (CCD), which comes under the unitary State system.

Damsila Exports is a leading exporter of phlogopite mica and other minerals from the island to external markets.

Villagers from Thampaddai and Thampiluvil gathered at Aathavan playgrounds, people from Thirukkoayil mobilised in front of Thirukkoayil clocktower and Vinaayaka-puram villagers got together at the bus stop in their village. The protesters marched from these three localities towards Thirukkoayil clocktower amidst pouring rains.

The protesters handed over their appeals addressed to political leaders and the authorities to Tamil National Alliance MP K. Kodeeswaran and to the Divisional Secretary of Thirukkoayil S. Jegarajan.

Mr Jegarajan told protesters that he would be forwarding their appeal to Cost Conservation Department, which is the authority over the area in question as it falls within the 200 meters of the coastal line.

The protesters told TamilNet that the local community has not been consulted at all in the move.

Based on the experience from Pulmoaddai in Trincomalee, both by Tamils and Muslims, the trend is destructive as the soil and ecosystem of their coast would be affected as well as their livelihood in addition to the fear of Sinhalicisation coming in the form of a settlement of Sinhala workers from outside.

The plan, initiated during the regime of Rajapaksa, is now being stepped up, the protesters further said.

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