Feature Article

Sirisena's Forest Department escalates appropriations of lands from Tamils in Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 September 2016, 17:19 GMT]
Occupying Colombo's Forest Department, deploying Sinhala civil servants from South as the officers in charge of the forest affairs in Vanni, has been increasingly harassing the resettled Eezham Tamils in Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts under the rule of SL President Maithiripala Sirisena, Tamil civil sources in Mullaiththeevu told TamilNet on Tuesday. Eezham Tamils who have been engaged in agriculture before the times of war and during the times of war and have commenced agriculture in their deed-lands have been instructed by the SL Forest Department officers not to enter their agricultural lands at Thuvaarang-ku'lam and Mooppan-ku'lam in Maanthai East. The Divisional Secretary, when contacted by TamilNet, also confirmed the take-over of lands that were even verified by the Divisional Secretary as agricultural lands belonging to people from Chiraaddik-ku'lam.

46 families received land deeds and Mooppan-ku'lam tank was renovated spending 25 million rupees in 2013 and 2014. In fact, 90 families were doing agriculture in these lands before 2009. The people are now deprived of accessing 130 acres of agricultural lands in Mooppan-ku'lam, according to civil sources in Mullaiththeevu district.

Similar harassments are also reported in several other places such as Thuvaarang-ku'lam in the district, the civil sources further said.

SL Military was directly involved in mass-scale land grab in Vanni during the Rajapaksa regime. Now, the same process is being carried out by the civil ministries and departments from Colombo.

Big trees and shrub jungles have grown in agricultural lands since SL military operation ‘Jayasikurui’ in 2001 as people were internally displaced.

After 2010, the resettling people had to clear their agricultural lands. But, the SL Forest Department is now threatening them with lawsuits saying they were engaged in illegal destruction of forestry. People having documents of ownership to these lands don’t count. If there are traces of big trees, the SL Forest Department claims the lands as coming under its jurisdiction.

But, SL military commanders, who engage in big-scale businesses by logging forest trees in Vanni have been allowed by the same Forest Department to proceed with their exploitation of natural resources of Eezham Tamils in the occupied country.

The SL Forest Department was also behind transporting wild elephants from South into the jungles of Vanni after 2009 and the rampant elephants have attacked the resettled people.

In the meantime, the Forest Department officers also acts against cattle farmers and the SL military is the main opponent of Tamil cattle herders.

The SL military and Police are also cooperating with the Forest Department in the seizure of lands from Eezham Tamils in Vanni, the sources further said.

Attacks against cattle owned by Tamil farmers in the East, assaults by wild elephants and large-scale appropriation of lands have been exposed in detail in the Eastern Province and at Mannaar.

The latest reports from Vanni also indicate an accelerated pattern of land appropriation in the districts of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi in Vanni, illustrating a systematic pattern being adopted by the SL ministries and departments of the occupying Colombo.

Maithiripala Sirisena’s Mahaweli Ministry, SL Forest Department and the Wild-life Department of the unitary State of genocidal Sri Lanka are working hand in hand with the occupying military, Buddhist monks and the governors of Northern and Eastern provinces.

Foreign powers seeking inroads into the island are providing ‘development’ assistant with the talk of ‘reconciliation’, which remains a non-mutual and one-way process by the Sinhala State as far as the nation of Eezham Tamils are concerned.

The Tamil National Alliance and those engaged in the SL parliamentary politics confronting and competing with the TNA are all being increasingly criticized for failing to edify the regional and international actors on the real nature of structural genocide being waged against the nation of Eezham Tamils by the SL State.


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