2ND LEAD (Adds video clips)

Vanni mobilises against structural genocide with anti-Mahaweli rally

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 August 2018, 21:18 GMT]
Around 4,000 Tamil-speaking people of all walks of life mobilised on Tuesday in one of the biggest protests to take place after 2009 in Mullaiththeevu. The protesters came with six concrete demands: Mahaweli projects within the limits of the Northern Province should be scrapped; The land permits issued to encroaching fishers from South in Kokku'laay, Kokkuth-thoduvaay and Karunaadduk-kea'ni should be withdrawn; The lands of 2,000 Tamils, who were evicted from their village in 1984 should be handed back to them. The SL Archaeology Department, which is seizing the sites of heritage at wanton from Tamils to distort the history, should be restrained. The Sinhala colonisation, de-linking the territorial contiguity of the North-East, should be stopped forthwith. The ban on livelihood activities in the lagoons that are unilaterally declared as natural-reserves by Colombo, should be lifted.



Tamil-speaking religious dignitaries of Saivism, Catholicism and Islam, grassroots activists, elected councillors and politicians took part in the rally, which started at St Joseph's Church at 11:00 a.m. The protesters marched towards the District Secretariat.

The entire district was brought to a standstill as private businesses were shut down in support of the action.

The rally was assembled by a spontaneously formed civil action group titled, “Anti-Mahaweli Tamils' Heritage Forum” (AMTHF), which was coordinated by a Catholic priest, a UN worker and a physician, all hailing from Mullaiththeevu district.

Sword-carrying symbol of Pandara Vanniyan, the last ruler of Vanni who fought against the European colonists, was chosen as the logo of AMTHF.



The organisers presented the six demands in a letter addressing the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena politely. The message said they hoped, as the citizens of this country, that they could breath freely talk and act freely under his “great leadership.”

However, the people who took part in the protest came with a strong warning that they would wage a hitherto unseen civil disobedience campaign and lay siege to the SL government offices if their demands presented by the organisers were to go unheeded.





The demands, formulated by the AMTHF, follow:

  1. Considering the benefits, disbenefits, challenges and the complication of the Mahaweli project in the North, we are compelled to request you to immediately stop the Mahaweli project in Mullaitivu district and proposed plans in Northern Province.
  2. The recently issued land permits by the Mahaweli Authority to the illegal Sinhala fishermen in the Maritimepattu DS division ( Karunaddukerney , Kokkuthoduvai and Kokkulai GN divisions ) must be withdrawn with immediate effect.
  3. Over 2000 acres of livelihood lands belonging to the Tamil community, displaced in 1984 distributed to the settled Sinhala families in Welioya, must be recovered and handed back to the original owners.
  4. Without consulting the local communities and district government officials, Archeological department is declaring the locations in order to manipulate the history and abandon the Tamils’ cultural heritage. We urge you to instruct the relevant authorities not to do so.
  5. Sinhala colonization of a strategic piece of merging Land of North and East Providences must be stopped with immediate effect, failing which will affect the ethnic harmony in the region.
  6. The Declared Nanthikkadal and Nayaru lagoons Nature Reserves must be withdrawn considering the livelihood of poor fishing families with immediate effect.






Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest
Anti-Mahaweli protest


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