2ND LEAD (Update)

State discrimination causes death of 1000 cows, milk production drops by 5,500 litres in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2019, 23:27 GMT]
The drought has taken a big toll on dairy farmers as the SL State has been systematically neglecting their repeated requests for drinking water reservoirs for the cattle. The occupying Colombo has also been desisting from safeguarding the pasture lands in the interior Ko'ra'laip-pattu South (Kiraan) division of Batticaloa district targeting Sinhala colonisation through the Mahaweli scheme. Nimalan Kanthasamy, the Secretary of Dairy Farmers Association in Kiraan and Chengka'ladi, told TamilNet on Tuesday that the milk production supplied to the SL State-owned dairy Milco (Pvt) Ltd from the region has dropped from 6,000 litres to just 400 litres on average between January and July 2019. It is a human-made disaster intended to obliterate the particular livelihood, say the grassroots activists in the district.

Paduvaan-karai is subjected to complete neglect on all fronts. The LTTE was protecting the livelihood even during the times of war and displacement in the past, they say.

The livelihood survives precariously in Periyaa-maathava'nai and Mayilaththa-madu, Mr Nimalan said.

The SL Forest Department, SL Army and the Wildlife Conservation Department were causing various problems for a long time, he said.

The dairy farmers have been confronting the Buddhist monks who started to colonise their pasturelands with former Sinhala paramilitary ‘Homeguards’, ex-military and police personnel.

The farmers continued to wage their protests and managed to gain some external attention, bringing a temporary halt to the colonisation by the extremist monks.

However, the SL Forest Department was restricting the pasturelands, and the Tamil cattle herders were systematically harassed.

Then, the discrimination was taken over by the SL Mahaweli ‘Development’, which was led by the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena.

The former Tamil paramilitary ‘Karuna Group’ personalities are deployed to harass the farmers in recent times.

Grazing lands Mailaththa-madu
The Tamil farmers say they have been using the grazing lands allocated for them for several years with the permits given to them through Sri Lanka’s state-owned dairy Milco (Pvt) Ltd
Mahaweli System B
System B of Mahaweli scheme targets to Sinhalicise and colonise the agricultural and grazelands of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa. The area being subjected to occupation was safeguarded by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) till 2007 and is known as Paduvaan-karai



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