Forest officials from Ampaa'rai intervene to free land encroachers in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 November 2019, 17:00 GMT]
Sinhala officials of the SL Forest Department attached to the Ampaa'ari office seem to have released the Sinhala encroachers who were initially detained by the forest guards from Batticaloa on 05 November. The Sinhala officials from Ampaa'rai had taken the encroachers from the Tamil officials to avert legal action. There has been no legal against them in Ampaa'rai, and the encroachers are still seen engaging in various activities in Periya-maathava'nai and Mayilaththai-madu, particularly in Ea'raavoorpattu (Chengkaladi) division, Tamil dairy farmers who have been fighting against illegal encroachment.

Former Sinhala paramilitary affiliated colonists (also known as home-guards), who encroached into the pasturelands in Paduvaan-karai region of Batticaloa during the Rajapaksa regime, have again started cultivation activities in the area by 15 October.

There are around eighty Tamil farmers who have been using the pasture lands for their cattle numbering about ten thousand.

The farmers complained to the Divisional Secretariat and to the Forest Department in Batticaloa on 22 October.

The Divisional Secretary Mr Vilvaratnam and the divisional land officer visited the area on 25 October and put up written warnings against the intrusion.

However, the encroachers continued their activities with the backing of the Sinhala military. The intruders are former members of the home-guards paramilitary. They have come anticipating the return of Rajapaksa regime, the Tamil dairy farmers said.

When the SL Forest Department officials from Batticaloa went to detain the encroachers on 05 November, Sinhala officials from Ampaa'rai from the same department intervened and took the encroachers with them promising action against them. The Sinhala officials from Ampaa'rai were claiming that the area came under their jurisdiction.


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