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Mullai GA gives in to pressure from top, allocates lands to Sinhala colonists

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 21:35 GMT]
Mullaiththeevu District Secretary (Government Agent) Ms Rupavathy Ketheeswaran appears to have bowed to pressure from the Colombo establishment to allocate a housing scheme for the Sinhala colonists in Mukaththuvaaram in Kokku'laay, says civil activist and a former UN Field Officer V. Navaneethan. While defending the rights of the private Tamil land-owners, the GA seems to have promised to allocate three acres of public lands to the encroaching colonists. The GA who visited the area after the Sinhala protesters laid siege to her office on 13 May, was under pressure to promise the public land plot of three acres to be transferred to the colonists to set up a housing scheme. She was accompanied by SL military officers and the police as well as Survey Department officials, news sources in Mullaiththeevu said.

Mullai GA Rupawathy Ketheeswaran visits Mukaththuvaaram Sinhala colony


The move is a dangerous one as it legalises the Sinhala colonisation of the strategically located village at the northern tip of the lagoon-mouth of Kokku’laay along the provincial border between the North and East, Mr Navaneethan told TamilNet.



Kokku'laay
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]
Shown within the box is the target area of Colombo discussed in the feature
The Tamil civil society and the politicians should rise to the occasion and defend the territorial contiguity of their traditional homeland as well as the demography of Tamils. The move tantamounts to permanently wedge the North and East, he said.

Several SL ministers belonging to various governments in Colombo have been visiting Mukaththuvaaram and Kokku'laay from time to time in the past trying to permanently grab the lands that have been illegally encroached by Sinhala fishermen from the south. However, due to intense pressure from Tamil grassroots organisations and the civil servants in the district, those attempts were foiled, he said.

The Sinhala fishers are currently occupying the private lands of Eezham Tamils, who are refused entry to their properties. The colonists have also been clashing with the Tamil fishermen in the district on several occasions in the past.

The encroachers are Sinhala Catholics from Negombo. Using the sympathy following the Easter Sunday attacks and the Emergency Regulations, the Colombo government is trying to legalise the Sinhala colony. This is again an attempt to set Tamil and Sinhala Catholics against each other. The SL State has also planned to convert them to Theravada Buddhism.

The provincial border runs across the Kokku'laay lagoon, and the SL State is yet to link the North and East with a bridge across the lagoon. The occupying Colombo would not connect the route until it has Sinhalicised the southern tip of the northern province, civil sources at the District Secretariat told TamilNet on Wednesday.

Mullai GA Rupawathy Ketheeswaran visits Mukaththuvaaram Sinhala colony


The GA seems to have agreed to divide the 3 acres of lands into 62 pieces of land plots and provide six perches of lands to the colonists, the sources further said.

The encroachers are seasonal fishermen who have their own houses in Negombo. There are also wealthy fisheries sector businessmen among the proposed beneficiaries of the scheme, which is schemed by the ‘National Housing Development Authority’, he said.

V. Navaneethan hails from Mu'l'liyava'lai in Karai-thu'raip-pattu division and has been at the forefront against the massive land grab and Sinhala colonisation which is being deployed through the so-called ‘development’ programme by the SL Mahaweli Authority.

Mullai GA Rupawathy Ketheeswaran visits Mukaththuvaaram Sinhala colony


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