Feature Article

SLAF hurriedly erects Buddhist Vihara in Keappaa-pulavu

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 April 2017, 23:17 GMT]
In a fresh move to permanently Sinhalicise the military-occupied village of Keappaa-pulavu, the occupying Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) of genocidal Colombo is constructing a Buddhist Vihara inside the school lands of the village while the uprooted Eezham Tamils from Keappaa-pulavu are on a continuous protest outside the military cantonment, Tamil journalists who have been monitoring the activities of the SLAF told TamilNet on Wednesday. The SL Defence Ministry is using the ‘constitutional’ clause of ‘foremost place to Buddhism’ and ‘territorial integrity’ of the genocidal State to permanently Sinhalicise Keappaa-pulavu. In the meantime, SL Ministry of Resettlement has donated 50 million rupees to SL Defence Ministry to find alternative pockets of lands to the uprooted people. The people who are on continuous protest said they are firm in their struggle.

When the construction is complete, the ‘foremost’ place to Buddhism policy enshrined in the constitution of genocidal Sri Lanka will refuse to dismantle the Buddhist vihara.

A multi-pronged structural genocide is targeting the entire Karaithu'raip-pattu administrative division.

Keappaapulavu and the airstrip of the LTTE
The locality of Keappaapulavu and the former airstrip of the LTTE

A new Sinhala-only division was created Sinhalicising Ma'nal-aa'ru into Weli-Oya, Mahaweli L Scheme is scheming new Sinhala colonies. Almost all the irrigation tanks, reconstructed with external funding, have been occupied by Sinhala colonists. The entire coastal stretch has been occupied by Sinhala fishermen from South and Tamil fishermen and officials are being violently confronted. At Kokku'laay, an extremist Buddhist monk is continuing to construct a Buddhist vihara undeterred by all civil and legal objections from Tamil civil authorities. The entire agenda is wedging the demographic territorial integrity of the country of Eezham Tamils.

In the meantime, the ‘Office for National Unity & Reconciliation’ (ONUR), which is led by former SL President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike (CBK), has been openly lying to hide the level of militarisation in the Mullaiththeevu district.

According to CBKs ONUR, the SL military is only having 9,148 acres of lands in the district.

The figures from ONUR has systematically avoided more than 40,000 acres of lands that have been seized by the SL Air Force and SLA within the district. These lands have been given to SL military by the SL Forest Department.

The uprooted people of Keappaa-pulavu ask why the SLAF is occupying their village instead of moving into a jungle within the 40,000 acres of lands it is having already.

The people of Keappaa-pulavu have their livelihood of agriculture and lagoon-based fisheries.

The ‘model village’ given to them by SL military in the past turned into a slum.

The same trend is also observed in Valikaamam in North, both in Vazhalaay and at KKS.

Any alternative arrangement without securing the original livelihood of Keappaa-pulavu people will not be acceptable, say the protesters.

It is the occupying SLAF that should be given alternatives, not the original inhabitants of the village, they say.

According to latest reports from Colombo, genocidal Sri Lanka’s ministries of ‘Defence’ and ‘Resettlement’ are working together in a fresh attempt to deceive the uprooted people of Keappaa-pulavu in Mullaiththeevu with alternative lands.

The new plan aims at releasing selected pockets of lands that belong to others elsewhere in the same division. By offering these lands to the people who have been fighting to liberate their village, Colombo wants to suppress their struggle and the demand of de-militarising Keappaa-pulavu.

The latest military move of erecting a Buddhist temple is another tactic to legally justify the occupation using the constitutional provisions.

Although the SL Constitution attempts to project all religions as having equal status, the constitutional provision of ‘foremost place’ and various other arrangements such as the SL police having a special division to protect the Buddhism under the guidance of SL Ministry of Buddha Sasana, have made it a crime if anyone attempts to peacefully dismantle even a Buddha statue in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils

Article 9 (chapter II) of the current Sri Lankan constitution promulgated in 1978 says "The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana.."

Eezham Tamils say that this Article constitutes a particular obstacle in negotiating any degree of regional autonomy with the genocidal State of Sri Lanka because it is an 'entrenched' section of the constitution. Article 9 can be amended or repealed only with the support of two thirds of all the members of the SL Parliament and only if such amendment or repeal is thereafter approved by the people in an island-wide referendum.

The proposals for new constitution are also not going to change this reality and federalism is not possible under the genocidal configuration of the Sri Lankan system. The fundamental genocidal character will continue to exist despite cosmetic reforms.

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