Feature Article

Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 August 2019, 17:45 GMT]
The occupying Colombo has met stiff resistance from the people of Mannaar against its ‘development’ plan, which paves the way for industrialisation with a looming danger of Sinhala colonisation changing the demographic pattern of the Mannaar Island. The ‘transformation’ has been schemed to take place within 12 years before 2030. Colombo’s Urban Development Authority (UDA), an almost all-Sinhala ‘regulatory body’ had conceived the overarching plan in 2016. The SL Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development had been tasked to accomplish the construction of a controversial project of Fishery Harbour at Peasaalai as part of Northern Province Sustainable Fisheries Development Project (NPSFDP) with project funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2020. The Tamil Catholic residents in Peasaalai have been opposing the controversial harbour project.

Proposed Landuse for 2030 Mannaar
Proposed Land-use plan for 2030 [Courtesy: Mannar Development Plan 2030 by SL Urban Development Authority, ‘‘Sethsiripaya’’ Battaramulla]

The Tamil fishers blame the SL Fisheries Ministry for planning Sinhalicisation of fishing through heavy industrialisation and the creation of ‘industrial zone fishing camps’.

The project, advanced through the UDA and the SL Fisheries Ministry, must be seen in connection with the US-determined geopolitical ‘development’ master-plan for Trincomalee, Tamil political observers in Jaffna said. SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has branded the mega scheme as Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor (CTEC). This controversial plan aims to transform Trincomalee, linking it with the Sinhala South and setting the final nail in the North-East de-merger coffin.

The Colombo-Trincomalee megapolis master-plan is conceived by the ultra Sinhala nationalist JHU politician ‘Patali’ Champika Ranawaka, who has been provoking racism with high sophistication.

It was New Delhi that exerted pressure on Colombo to think Mannaar as part of the CTEC.

Existing Landuse Mannaar as of 2018
Existing Land-use as of 2018 [Courtesy: Mannar Development Plan 2030 by SL Urban Development Authority, ‘‘Sethsiripaya’’ Battaramulla]

Except for the name, the NPSFDP Mannaar project is overwhelmingly determined by the central authorities in Colombo such as the National Aquaculture Development Authority of ‘Sri Lanka’ (NAQDA), Ceylon Fisheries Harbours Corporation (CFHC), Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department (CC&CRMD).

Fifty-six per cent of the population in Mannaar island are Tamils while the Tamil-speaking Muslims constitute 43.9%. The Sinhala community stands only at 0.1% according to the figures obtained in 2016.

The Peasaalai Fishery Harbour falls within the two GS divisions of Peasaalai North (MN-57) and Peasaalai West (MN-55) of Mannaar Divisional Secretariat Division.

The UDA declared the entire Mannaar island as urban development area on 22 March 1998.

The apex ‘urban development’ agency, UDA, was launched by the first executive president of genocidal Sri Lanka, the late J.R. Jayewardene in 1978.

The Peasaalai Harbour project is planned to absorb 5.34 hectares (ha) of Crown lands which are claimed by the SL Coastal Conservation Department as well as 3.52 ha of properties owned by the private owners.

The Harbour plan also saw a change during the planning as the SL Navy demanded to shift it westwards to keep its detachment fully militarised, informed Tamil officials employed in the project told TamilNet on condition of anonymity.

They warned that the SL State would be transforming Mannaar with Sinhala colonisation within the next decade if Tamil political leaders fail to politically put an effective end to the geopolitics of outside forces going hand in hand with the genocide waged against the Eezham Tamils.

Peasaalai Fishery Harbour plan
Peasaalai Fishery Harbour plan
Satellite Image of the location of proposed Fishery Harbour at Peasaalai
Google Earth Satellite image of the location of proposed Fishery Harbour at Peasaalai

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