Jaffna villagers agitate against exploitative sand traders from South

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 December 2019, 22:47 GMT]
In what was described as the first-initiated protest against the SL authorities in Jaffna after Gotabaya Rajapaksa assuming office as the SL President in the South, the Tamil residents from Valikaamam East blocked the A9 Highway for more than one hour at Puthukkaadu Junction on Saturday. The protesters were agitating against the exploitative sand mining escalating without any control in Jaffna. They demanded the SL Police to block the southern sand traders who were dispatching their tipper vehicles to transport the excavated sands from Jaffna. The SL Police had to promise the protesters of setting up a new point to control the sand transport to end the protest.

The protest comes in the wake of SL authorities lifting all previous limits and blocks against destructive sand mining.

Protests in Puthuk-kaadu

The EPDP, a former paramilitary group, operated by the occupying SL military, was making millions during the previous Rajapaksa regime through ‘Maheswary Foundation’. The group was instrumental in cancelling the licenses and controls that were in force during Maithiripala-Wickrmasinghe regime as Mr Douglas Devananda, the leader of the EPDP, aligned with Rajapaksas assumed office as the SL Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources.

The police are not under the control of the provincial council but placed under the occupying unitary state.

When the people demanded action from the SL Police earlier in the week, it had refused to respond to their requests. The SL Police officers were saying they lacked instructions to act against the sand miners from their hierarchy in Colombo.

The destructive sand mining was also going on during the regime of Maithiripala and Wickramasinghe. However, it was on a lower-scale with new actors competing with the EPDP-operated outfit and the southern traders shifting their trade away from Jaffna to Vanni due to the protests.

Protests in Puthuk-kaadu
Protests in Puthuk-kaadu



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