Monks incite SL paramilitary to Sinhalicise Tamil heritage site in Trincomalee North

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 December 2018, 23:16 GMT]
An extremist section of the Sinhala-Buddhist Theravada monks establishment, which has been trying for more almost ten years to claim the ancient Tamil village of Thennai-maravadi as a heritage and archaeology site of Sinhala Buddhism, abandoned their attempt to erect a Buddhist temple at the lands of the Tamil village deity of Kanthasaami. However, the monks left behind noticeboards claiming the Saiva (Hindu) temple lands, where they conducted the excavations, as coming under the purview of the SL Department of Archaeology. Recently, on 30th November, Sinhala paramilitary personnel of the so-called ‘Civil Defence Force’ have put up foundations for a building inside the demarcated lands. If the seized properties of the Hindu temple come under the SL Archaeology department, how could the CDF personnel start constructing structures inside the grounds, the resettled Tamils questioned.

Thennai-maravadi land
Tamil residents of Thennai-maravadi showing the illegal construction to activists


The CDF paramilitary personnel had come from the nearby Sinhala colony of Padavi Siripura, the Tamil residents say.

Only a few Tamil families have managed to resettle in their ancient village.

While the SL Archaeology department has taken the lands of the ancient temple of the village deity, Sinhala farmers from Padavi Siripura have seized the agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils.

Thennai-maravadi was the seat of a Tamil Vanni chieftaincy until the Dutch times in the mid 17th century.

The interior hamlet is situated in the narrow strategic corridor linking the Northern and Eastern provinces, 70 km north of Trincomalee city.

Kokku'laay
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]


Thennai-maravadi was the first Tamil village wholly displaced in the Trincomalee district following the SL state-sponsored Black July pogroms in 1983. At that time more than two hundred Tamil families were living in the village.

In 1984, the area became the scene of intense colonisation activity by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in a planned attempt to drive a wedge in the contiguity of Tamil presence across the provincial borders.

After the end of the genocidal war in 2009, only a few Tamils, numbering around 39 families, have managed to reclaim their lands.

The Sinhala farmers from the nearby settlement, known as Padavi Sripura, are still occupying the agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils for cultivation.

Padavi Sripura is an already Sinhalicised ancient Tamil village, which was known as Pathivaavi.

Several new Sinhala settlements, Padavi Siripura, Sri Tissapura, Samanpura, Gemunupura and Sinhapura, were established in public lands in the north of Trincomalee district located close to Thennai-maravadi village thus making the Tamil population a minority in the area.

The SL Archaeology Department board at Kanthaasaami temple land in Thennai-maravadi
The SL Archaeology Department board at Kanthaasaami temple land in Thennai-maravadi
Kanthasaami-malai pilgrims
Tamil pilgrims at Kanthasaami-malai, photographed in June 2018
Kanthasaami-malai pilgrims
Kanthasaami-malai is one of the places of worship for Saiva pilgrims who are on their way to Kathirkaamam from North. Photograhed in June 2018


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Padavi Sri Pura demographic changes target Sinhalicisation of Thennai-maravadi and Pulmoaddai
Tamil village of Thennaimaravadi and Tamil-speaking Muslim villages in Pulmoaddai are being systematically targeted through demographic changes taking place through the bordering Padavi Sri Pura Sinhala division


In a video interview to TamilNet in July 2017, former Village Officer (GS) Abdul Salam narrated how the land grab in Pulmoaddai has been systematically stepped up and jointly waged by SL ministries, departments, Sinhala Army, Navy, STF commandos, Buddhist monks, ‘home guards’ paramilitary and the encroachers from bordering divisions of Trincomalee and Anurahapura since 2010. The interview is reproduced below:



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