Ranil's ‘development’ of North-East is divide-and-rule imposed on Tamils

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 March 2019, 14:18 GMT]
Grassroots activists in Moothoor East in the Trincomalee district have blamed the SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe for imposing a so-called development agenda of his design, which deploys divide-and-rule tactics in the occupied North-East. The short-term aim of the programme is designed to gain electoral and political mileage to the UNP party by diminishing the role of the Tamil politicians including that of the collaborating TNA. The hidden, much more sophisticated and the long-term agenda of the hostile ‘development’ and ‘rehabilitation’ programme is Sinhala-Buddhicisation of the North-East, they said.

The programme is devised to engineer social conflicts and disparity among the various communities. By creating divisions in the name of ‘development’ and ‘rehabilitation’, the programme seeks to render Eezham Tamils as a permanent minority in their homeland.

The external powers backing the ‘development’ agenda have vested interests, the critics say.

The trend comes to light when one looks at the predicaments faced by the resettled Eezham Tamils in Champoor, and the surrounding Tamil villages in Moothoor East, Mr Rasalingam Vijayakanth, the leader of Vinaayakar Community Centre in Champoor said.

The occupying Colombo has not yet revoked the controversial Gazette notification made during the Rajapaksa regime, which rendered the people landless by claiming their traditional lands to the SL state-owned ‘Board of Investment’. Technically speaking, it is the SL BOI, which still ‘owns’ the areas of the resettled Eezham Tamils in Champoor.

In the meantime, the occupying SL Navy has seized more and more lands for its marine headquarters and training base.

The US and Indian military establishments are promoting the Sinhala militarisation in Trincomalee.

In the latest drive, Colombo has allocated 400 houses to be constructed for war-affected people in Moothoor division for which the assistance is coming from India.

While the people who require housing assistance are unable to document their ownership to the lands, only a few houses are being allocated to them.

Twenty out of forty-two GS Divisions in the Moothoor Division are Tamil divisions, which were entirely uprooted during the times of war.

The occupying Colombo is now utilising the Indian assisted housing scheme to cause further disparity among the communities in the division, Mr Rasalingam said.

In the meantime, Divisional Secretariat sources said they were basing the utilisation of the house units on the population figure in the division as well as on the reported needs.

According to the secretary of the Ranil Wickramasinghe's SL Ministry of 'National Policies' and Development V. Sivagnansothy, each house was valued at ten lakhs in rupees.

However, when it comes to implementation at the Divisional Secretariat level, the local authorities have estimated the value as eight lakhs. Furthermore, they demand the beneficiaries cover three lakhs of these eight lakhs, Viyakanth explained.

The war and poverty affected Tamil families in Moothoor East cannot afford to invest lakhs of rupees demanded by the authorities, he further complained.


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