Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Plans for Militarization and Colonization are Going on at a Feverish Pace

by a concerned Tamil human rights activist, June 13, 2009

The colonization they intend is seen already in the Eastern Province in and around Trincomalee port, and in the Northern Province around the KKS and Point Pedro port, and Pallaly airport. They also hope to create new high security zones and also bring in IRC prisoners [1] from the jails, providing them early release as long as they are prepared to live and cultivate some land provided by the  GOSL/SLA, along with free housing. So they get free land, a house, and others' help, including financial assistance so that they increase the Singhala population in and around the Northern and Eastern Province. Buddhist temples and Singhala schools will also be established and they would force Tamils living in the area to learn Singhalese.

These comments were based on meetings and conversations with Sinhalese who have mutual friends in the GOSL, SLA, etc. I am also in touch with various Singhalese leaders, especially those who have links to the US.

The SLA army is going ahead full scale to increase the strength of the army alone by 100,000 or more, as seen from the publicly announced statements.  They also  are going to establish more Police stations in the 4 districts such as Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mulaitheevu and Vavuniya.

Sinhala Home Guards in settlements near Padawiya 1999

The biggest Singhala colonization scheme  in the Northern Province is the Padaviya Tank area,  which  although it is part of the Medawachichiya District  borders  Vavuniya and Mullaitheevu in the Eastern coastal area. They want to expand this further Northwards and, more importantly, Eastwards  to the  Indian  Ocean and cut off any continuity between the Northern and Eastern Provinces, thus destroying any claims of the Tamils in the future of a Tamil homeland.

The Weli Oya (original Tamil name = Manal Aru) [1] area also is involved and extends further South and North, towards Trincomalee. They have built a big hospital there, and now want to expand it utilizing reconstruction funds. This is a 99% Singhalese colony with the balance being Muslims. Injured Tamils were also brought there with expansion in mind. What a perfect excuse to use foreign funds!?

The colonization they intend is seen already in the Eastern Province in and around Trincomalee port, and in the Northern Province around the KKS and Point Pedro port, and Pallaly airport. They also hope to create new high security zones and also bring in IRC prisoners [2] from the jails, providing them early release as long as they are prepared to live and cultivate some land provided by the  GOSL/SLA, along with free housing. So they get free land, a house, and others' help, including financial assistance so that they increase the Singhala population in and around the Northern and Eastern Province. Buddhist temples and Singhala schools will also be established and they would force Tamils living in the area to learn Singhalese.

Sinhala colonization cartoon by Anonymous 1992The GOSL has a previous history, for the past 5 decades, where they have used prisoners to settle down and colonize the North and the East.

Tamil lands will be misappropriated, government lands will be distributed and quetionable titles would be acquired for the establishment of Singhala colonies. The armed forces also would be provided with permanent and comfortable housing, and encouraged to raise their young families with other incentives, especially in the 4 districts, thereby increasing the Singhala population which is currently non-existent. Most of the government servants and families will be Singhalese and Muslim officials, rather than people from the area. Muslims also would be encouraged to settle down in these districts and Muslims' mother tongue is Tamil.

Singhalese and Muslim fisherman would be encouraged and assisted to settle down in the East and West coast of the two districts. Since the electoral voting system in Sri Lanka has been now changed from first-pas- the-post to proportionate representation, these Singhalese minorities together with Tamil quislings will have a bigger say in administering the Tamil region, like what has happened in the Easterm province with Pillaiyan being the Chief Minister and   Karuna the Minister. They are hoping to allow Douglas Devananda, who is already a Minister, Anandasangaree, the TULF leader, PLOTE's Sitharthan and a few other quislings to provide the leadership. A few TNA MP's from the Vavuniya and Mannar district are also being forced to join this group or at least break away from the TNA and a few assassinations or threats of physical harm, like bombings of their homes, intimidation, and harassment could occur if they do not cooperate.

Sinhala colonization of Tamil homelands before 1983
Before 1983

100,000 Muslims from Puttalam and Anuradhapura, whose parents and grandparents left the Northern province 20 years ago, are being encouraged to now return and claim their land and buildings and start businesses. Some Singhalese traders are also encouraged to move into businesses and GOSL will provide assistance, all under the rehabilitation, reconstruction and so-called reconciliation process utilizing foreign aid, funds, loans, grants and budget funds as part of a decentralized and devolved budget process. The main purpose of these maneuvres is destroying the Tamil identity and domination even in their own homeland.

Sinhalese nationalists in and out of government are already claiming that there has been no anti-Tamil discrimination, and, therefore, Tamils never have had any problem except for LTTE terrorism. That is why Rajapakse states that there are no minorities in Sri Lanka and, therefore, the Tamil identity itself is going to be destroyed. At least that is the aim of the Rajapakses.

Mahaweli Development SchemeAll this will be done while 300,000  Tamils languish  in the "concentration  camps" and are very slowly released  to different regions under the excuse of land mines making it unsafe  for Tamils to return to their own homes. This process will go on for 3 years. Already 3 months have passed, as quite a number of Tamils  came to the camps  in the first 3-4 months of the year.

Read the book written in 1988 by Malinga Herman Gunaratne, a friend of Minsiter Gamini Dissanayake,  called State of the Sovereign State.  Details of  planned colonization and efforts in that direction with the foreign-funded Mahaveli River Diversion Scheme are elaborated. Gamini's private secretary Palitha Pelpola is settled in the US for the last 15 years.

Footnotes:

1. "Bloody Past", Sunday Times, Colombo, July 1, 2007, Weli Oya (Manal Aru in Tamil) has been a bone of contention from the beginning of the ethnic conflict. When the Tamil rebel movements began their violent campaign to establish an Eelam comprising the North and East, one of the first things that the nationalist elements in the then J.R. Jayewardene Government did was to settle Sinhalese in this stretch of land ending at the Kokilai lagoon, tracing ancient Sinhala habitats and thereby effectively ousting Tamils who were there. The idea was to drive a wedge into the claim for a contiguous Eelam. Already there were Sinhalese resettled up to places like Somapura, which even has an ancient temple, Chetiyagiriya Raja Maha Viharaya with some of its ruins intact.

Kokilai lagoon too has been a favourite fishing ground for migratory fishermen from areas like Negombo from time immemorial.

The result of this sudden attempt to drive a wedge was the first brutal massacre on November 30, 1984 of unarmed Sinhalese [prisoners] settled in two farms Kent and Dollar, earlier set up by two leading Tamil firms in Colombo for Tamils. Two bus loads of Tigers who descended on the two farms hacked, shot and blasted 33 people (men, women and children) in Dollar Farm and 29 in Kent farm. Only a few survived the ordeal.

Weli Oya Padaviya mapThe struggle has been bloody ever since. The most significant showdown in the region since has been the abortive attempt by the LTTE to capture Weli Oya in July 1995, which ended with it losing some 400 cadres. The attackers fled leaving most of their dead behind. Then in 1999 when the Tigers “Unceasing Waves” reversed most of the gains made by Operation Jayasikurui, they even managed to take back the Dollar and Kent Farms, which had by then been renamed as Gajabapura and Monarawewa.

 

2 . Quote from Inner City Press: "Meanwhile at the UN's noon media briefing on June 12, asked Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson Michele Montas had read out a statement that access to the camps in Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka is getting better and new camps are being built -- internment camps, with UN money -- Inner City Press asked for the UN's response to Sri Lankan authorities' statement that they will use prison labor in the north.

Ms. Montas said "no comment at this point, maybe later we will see how the issue is being discussed." Video here, from Minute 18:39.

Later Ms Montas' office sent Inner City Press the following response:

Subj: Response from OCHA on your question at the noon briefing
From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 6/12/2009 12:43:56 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

On use of prison labour in reconstruction in Sri Lanka, we have not heard these allegations and have no information.

Apparently, the UN's "close monitoring" of Sri Lanka doesn't even read the news from Colombo, with quotes from government officials:

Prison inmates to be deployed for the redevelopment process in Sri Lanka's North

Thu, Jun 11, 2009, 11:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka government is planning to deploy prison inmates for the redevelopment process in the liberated areas of the North.

Prison Commissioner General, Major General V.R Silva told the media that this would be an appropriate decision to develop the liberated areas in North.

According to statistics there are nearly 30,000 inmates are in the prisons at the moment. Most of them are able bodied people with various skills, he added.

    Yes, the skills of those in jail, including for violent crime, are those the Sri Lankan government is unleashing in the north. And the UN? They "have not heard these allegations and have no information."