Land issues discussed in Tamil, Muslim subcommittee meet

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 June 2003, 16:35 GMT]
A meeting of the subcommittee on Tamil-Muslim land issues in the Koralaipattu East (Valaichenai), Koralaipattu North (Vakarai), Koralaipattu South (Kiran), Koralaipattu West (Ottamavady) divisions of the Batticaloa district was held Tuesday morning at the Valaichenai divisional secretariat, sources said.

Representing Tamils, K. Nizam, the head of the LTTE’s treasury division led a team that included S. Thothiran, the head of the political wing for Aandankulakoddai, S. Chandramohan, S. Jeyanandamoorthy, Muthumathavan, K. Nallaratnam, S. Sukumar and S. Sivalingam.

The Muslim delegation, led by M.T.M.Fareed, the regional organizer of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), included M.K.M. Muhaideen, M.L.M. Hussein, A.B.M. Buhari, M.S.A. Cader, M.I.Ahmedlebbe, S.L.M.Zubair, B.M.M. Ismail, M.S.Meerasahib and M.L. Fowsul Ameen.

The Valaichenai divisional secretary, Ms. Kalamany Pathmarajah, chaired the meeting and Ms. Vasuky Arulrajah, the Kiran divisional secretary also participated.

Land issues, in particular the problems caused by Muslim settlements at the border of Karuvakerny village and the problems of the Tamil people who originally lived in Ottamavady, were taken up for discussion at the meeting, the sources said.

Ottamavady is currently a Muslim village. But prior to 1983, many Tamil families lived in the village. However, following violence against Tamil people by Muslims in the village forced the Tamils to seek temporary shelter in Karuvakerny, where they are still living. A Pillaiyar temple in Ottamavady was destroyed and a fish market was constructed on the temple land, and the general cemetery for Tamil people in the village was destroyed two years ago to construct the divisional secretariat office, a post office and a library.

The Tamil people have objected to the new construction of a mosque at the entrance to the Paper corporation factory in Valaichenai.

Though no final decision was arrived at the meeting, it was decided to contact the government agent on strengthening the Karuvakerny village border, to contact land officials to make a final decision on the cemetery land and at least provide compensation to the people, and to temporarily stop the construction of the mosque. The remaining issues are to be taken up in a meeting next month, the sources said.


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