Feature Article

Sinhala Catholic establishment continues to abet Theravada Buddhists-led ethno-nationalist project

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 September 2017, 23:08 GMT]
The Sinhala Archbishop of Colombo Rt Rev Cardinal Malcom Ranjith who was very close to genocidaire Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and was instrumental in suppressing Tamil Catholic sentiments which were opposed to the crimes of the unitary regime in Colombo, is now scheming a plan to attach two substations in Mukaththuvaaram, coming under the Parish Priest of Kokku'laay with the Diocese of Anuradhapura, informed sources in Vanni told TamilNet this week. Mukaththuvaaram, which is the northern tip of the lagoon-mouth of Kokku'laay is situated close to the border of the Northern and Eastern provinces. In an attempt to permanently wedge the territorial and demographic contiguity of the homeland of Eezham Tamils, Colombo Establishment is deploying hardline Sinhala Catholic elements in the genocidal colonisation project. The Jaffna Diocese, when contacted, was dodging to give any information.

In the meantime, the SL Governor to North Reginald Cooray, a Sinhala Catholic, who has been promoting Sinhala Buddhicisation of Tamil homeland, is now collaborating with the extremist monk in Kokku'laay.

The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]
Shown within the box is the target area of Colombo discussed in the feature
Asgiriya Chapter of Theravada Buddhism in the island is fully backing the controversial extremist monk at Kokku'laay, who is engaged in putting up a Buddhist Vihara establishment at Kokku'laay, 1 km north of Mukaththuvaaram at lands illegally seized from Tamils. There are no Buddhists in the locality, except the occupying Sinhala soldiers and sailors.

Ven Sri Thissapura Gunarathna thero, the occupying Sinhala monk at Kokku'laay is now trying to convert the Sinhala fishermen occupying Mukaththuvaaram. Among 370 Sinhala occupant fishermen families, only three families are Buddhists.

Fearing repercussions from Asgiriya Chapter, the Sinhala Catholic SL Governor of North has been promoting Sinhala-Buddhicisation projects in North including Mukaththuvaaram.

Gunarathna thero demands more public lands in order to be alienated to Sinhala occupants who have put up huts along the coast in Mukaththuvaaram.

The monk has been exerting pressure on SL Governor Reginald Cooray to legally transfer the lands that belong to Tamil landowners, who have been chased out from Mukaththuvaaram.

Mr Cooray has exerted pressure on the Divisional Secretary of Mullaiththeevu through his subordinate officials and District Secretary of Karai-thu'raip-pattu directly, demanding the lands of uprooted Tamils to be alienated to 300 Sinhala settlers.

In the meantime, Gunarathana thero has been campaigning among the Catholics to convert to Buddhism in order to become eligible for lands with housing scheme.

The extremist monk, occupying Sinhala military and the Sinhala Catholic colonists, who are violently opposed to Tamils who are demanding their lands in Mukaththuvaaram are jointly operating regardless of their religious affinities.

The Colombo establishment had allocated 50 houses to Sinhala occupants in Mukaththuvaaram already during the times of the late SL President Ranasinghe Premedasa (SL Prime Minister between 1978 and 1989 and later SL President between 1989 and 1993). Tamils were fully chased out from the area in 1983. However, the Sinhalicisation agenda didn't succeed due to the war. But, after 2009, Sinhala fishermen from South occupied the area again with the backing of SL military intelligence.

Today, the prayers at the churches are carried out in Sinhala. Citing the occupants as overwhelming majority of devotees of the traditional Tamil church at Mukaththuvaaram, Colombo-based Catholic Establishment is trying to bring the churches in Mukaththuvaaram under Anuradhapura Diocese.

St Anne's Church and St Sebastian's Church in Mukathtuvaaram are the two substations coming under Kokku'laay Parish Priest, which belongs to Jaffna Diocese.

Before the times of war, a demographic change was carried out from Negombo to Puththa'lam, systematically Sinhalicising Tamil Catholics in the Western and North-Western Province. A similar project is being schemed also along the Eastern province, Tamil Catholics in Mullaiththeevu said.

Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, along with former SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, was instrumental in the Sinhala militarisation of Mu'l'lik-ku'lam in Musali, Mannaar.

The current project of Sinhalicisation targeting the coastal strip from Naayaa'ru to Mukaththuvaaram comes after the creation of Sinhala-Only division of Ma'nal-aa'ru (Sinhalacised into Weli-oya) which is located to the west of Mukaththuvaaram. Creating a coastal outlet to Weli-oya and permanently wedging North from East through demographic change is the joint motives of the Sinhala colonisation project.

Location of Ma'nalaa'ru
The location of the newly Sinhalicised division in the Mullaiththeevu district that will be wedging North and East, created after erasing out traditional Tamil villages and renaming it from Ma'nalaa'ru in Tamil to Weli-Oya in Sinhala. [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
Census map Mullaiththeevu
The Census Map of 2012 showing Weli-oya, a recently created and colonized division of the Mullaith-theevu district as an exclusive Sinhala division. The division has now wedged the contiguity between the Tamil districts Vavuniyaa in the Northern Province and Trincomalee in the Eastern Province, while it established contiguity with the Sinhala district Anuradhapura in the North Central Province.

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