Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2020, 16:33 GMT]
Encroaching Sinhala colonist farmers from Dehiwatta in Seruvila division of Trincomalee district have cut the recently re-constructed bunds of Kangku-veali reservoir and drained it to seize and illegally convert more than 55 acres of the 200 acres of the tank catchment area for agriculture. The destruction has taken place at two locations of the bunds with the backing of two Sinhala politicians, Rajapaksa-aligned former deputy minister Mr Susantha Punchinilame and SLFP Trincomalee District Organiser Mrs Ariyawathi Galappaththi. The Sinhala politicians had vowed to allow the Sinhala settlers encroach the reservoir last year after the Tamil National Alliance had managed to accomplish the reconstruction by getting the SL State to allocate the needed money.

The encroachment was encouraged by the Sinhala politicians since Gotabaya Rajapaksa became the SL President.

The location of Kangkuveali village and the stretch of paddy fields at the delta of Maavali Kangkai River [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth, Legend by TamilNet]
The problem is not an isolated issue to Kangku-veali. Mean-kamam reservoir, which remains neglected for decades despite repeated requests by Tamil farmers and politicians, is also being encroached by the Sinhala colonists, according to Deputy Chairman of the elected Moothoor Divisional Council (Piratheasa-chapai) Mr S. Thurainayakam.

Another councillor, Velautham Velmaran, said Kangkuveali reservoir was constructed in 1939 and the settlements of people were expanded in 1956.

All ethnic disputes in the area are connected Sinhala colonisation of the Mahaweli delta, both the ITAK councillors said.

The Kangkuveali village, its tank and the expanse of paddy fields having ridges [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth, Legend by TamilNet]

The Sinhala encroachment into Moothoor has been a critical fault-line since the beginning of Allai scheme during the times of the British. The dispute was also used to trigger the genocidal onslaught against the nation of Eezham Tamils in 2009.

Sinhala farmers from the southern parts of the island were encouraged by the SL State to settle in the catchment areas of the reservoirs and at the head of the water distribution channels of Allai Extended Scheme (AES) before the times of the Tamil armed struggle.

Seruvila electorate came into existence in the Trincomalee district with the SL state-sponsored colonisation scheme carried out by the then UNP government in power since the island gained independence from the Britishers.

The so-called Maavil-aa'ru dispute used to trigger the genocidal onslaught on Eezham Tamils in 2009 also stems from the Sinhala colonisation of Moothoor region.

* * *

A TamilNet video reportage from Kangukveali published in 2016 is reproduced below:

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