Posts Categorized: Economy

Thamils Should Not Lose Heart, But Fight Back Peacefully

Independence for the Thamils have meant slow liquidation of their identity as a Nation that lived in well defined territory with their own language, arts, culture, customs and heritage. They have been living in the Northeast historically for several centuries…

In 1946 the Thamils (both Ceylon and Thamils of Indian origin) constituted 22.75 (1,514,300) and Sinhalese 69.41 (4,620,500), but in 2011 the Thamil population declined to 15.37 (3,113,247) while the Sinhalese population rose to 74.88 (15,173,820). This decline is reflected in the dilution of their parliamentary representation

Land and Development in the North-East

This week, Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Wigneswaranlamented the lack of economic development in the North, berating the Sri Lankan state for its “conqueror” mindset and festering militarisation that has come to engulf the Tamil North-East. In particular Wigneswaran highlighted the forcible acquisition of land by the government, a pertinent issue that has gained international attention,… Read more »

Conference on State Grabs of Tamil Land

by ‘Tamil Guardian,’ London, January 31 and February 1, 2014 (Conference held January 31 and February 1 at British House of Commons and University College London) Pictures at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.675928429136367&type=3&l=0d6e7c22a2 DAY 1 The first day of an international conference on the Sri  Lankan state’s forcible and militarised procurement of Tamil land, saw a number of speakers calling… Read more »

CPA: Land Acquisition in NE

CPA Land Acquisition North and East Nov 2013 [PDF] The Centre for Policy Brief (CPA) in its most recent policy brief titled ‘Politics, Policies and Practices with Land Acquisitions and Related Issues in the North and East of Sri Lanka’ issued today draws attention to several disturbing trends of land acquisition and related issues in the… Read more »

Money Where the (Sinhala) Mouth Is

Following the money trail often leads to interesting findings. Sri Lanka’s 2014 budget is no exception. It is as Sinhala Buddhist as its constitution is but this analysis only focuses on one aspect which is the militarization. Reference in the title to the Sinhala mouth is intentional.  It is to highlight how it is being… Read more »

Major Losses in Apparel Sector from Loss of GSP Plus

By Ashwin Hemmathagama, ‘Daily FT,’ Colombo, October 24, 2013 Our Lobby Correspondent Losing the General Scheme of Preference (GSP) Plus benefits in August 2010 has caused closure of 25 apparel factories, forcing almost 10,000 people out of work, with the total loss to the country exceeding Rs. 782 million from apparel exports, the Government revealed… Read more »

External Development cannot Substitute the Settling of the Basic Unresolved Issues

by the Commission of Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, October 18, 2013, courtesy TamilNet.com, October 21, 2013 Fr_Mangalam_JPC_131018 To: His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Spiteri, Apostolic Nuncio Apostolic Nunciature 220 Bauddhaloka Mawatha Colombo 7 Your Excellency, Greetings to your Excellency from the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic… Read more »

State Facilitated Colonization of Northern Sri Lanka

by Watchdog, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, September 19, 2013 On 25th September 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Government of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the… Read more »

Protracted Displacement, Urgent Solutions

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, September 10, 2013 Significant changes have taken place in post-war Sri Lanka that have assisted the improvement in the lives of those affected by displacement and over 480,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes and communities. However, four years after the war displacement… Read more »

The Northern Election And Historical Stumbling Blocks

“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”

Why is Land a Fundamental Issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say,… Read more »

TNA Demands Probe into Land Grabs in North

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday demanded that government immediately investigate what it called land grabs by the security force members in the North and East and to redress the grievances of Tamil people. Moving a motion for the debate at the time of adjournment, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, MP, said that the government, through… Read more »

Malnutrition Among Northern IDPs

Attached is a report of a project started a year ago to lower malnutrition in IDPs in the Northern Province by 10%, paid for by Japan through the World Bank for US$2.7 million.  A year ago the malnutrition figures were: Prevalence of anemia (Hb < 11.0g/dL) among children 0-23 months = 61.60% Prevalence of anemia… Read more »

Getting Off the Sri Lankan Grid

The looming “great game” that will be played out in the in the Indian Ocean holds an important lesson for the Tamils of Eelam and TamilNadu. As I mentioned in the previous post, at the heart of the global and regional policy framework on the Indian Ocean is the stable, economic growth.  It is essential that the Tamils… Read more »

The Sri Lankan Army is Seizing Land that Could be Worth $2bn

If you own land in the north of Sri Lanka, or know anybody that does, please take a moment to look at this map and forward it on, the more people who are aware of what is taking place the better.

If you think you might be affected by any of these land seizures, or if you have any more precise information about the location of the land, photographs of the land, or who might own the land then please get in touch.

More land notices are being issued all the time and we will update the map as we get them. If you know of any more land seizures please do get in touch and pass on the details. If you can send us a copy of the notice (in any language) so much the better.

Close to Home, but Not Close Enough

However, as many as 5,000 families are about to begin a legal battle for their land rights, said S. Sugirthan, chairman of the Valli North Pradeshiya Sabha — the local body — in Kankesanthurai, Jaffna…

According to official sources, as many as 83, 618 persons from 23,351 families in Jaffna were displaced in 1990. Most of them are in IDP camps, while a few stay with host families. A few others have migrated abroad and some are in Rameswaram.

Military has Displaced Northern People

In Jaffna District in a place called Valikamam North, more than 10,000 acres of land which belong to people are now controlled by the Army. They are not allowing the people to go back to their land. Now the Government is trying to acquire the land for the purpose of putting up new military camps. These are fertile lands. People who own these lands want their land back. This is only one example. Likewise, there are several hundreds and thousands of people in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar whose land has been forcibly occupied by the military. We feel that the military is going to permanently keep these lands for themselves…

In Sri Lanka there are 200,000 Army personnel and 150,000 are stationed in the Northern Province. That is unnecessary.

In the North, the Govt. is Setting a Vicious Cycle in Motion Again

The most likely rationale for the government’s takeover of the land in the North and East is to ensure national security. But there is a lack of clarity with regard to the need for such a large extent of land at such great cost to the affected population. The government’s actions create the very problem it is meant to address.

Grounding the Struggle

They constitute the systematic transfer of private land from Tamils to Sinhalese, with the associated intent to permanently dismantle the Tamil economy (farming and fishing), alter irrevocably the ethnic demography of the North-East and thus further weaken Tamil political mobilisation…

International ambitions for ethnic reconciliation as the basis for the peace, would be better served by attention to the drivers of everyday insecurity, disenfranchisement and oppression, exemplified by the state’s forcible appropriation of Tamil-owned land, rather than elections to impotent local assemblies.