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Amidst military surveillance, Tamil politicians across parties join protest against Sinhala colonisation

Amidst surveillance from the Sri Lankan security forces, a protest was held outside the divisional secretariat in Nedunkeni this week, demonstrating against ongoing Sinhala colonisation in Vavuniya.

Plainclothed officers from the security forces were seen photographing the protestors as intimidation and surveillance of Tamil political activity continues across the North-East.

Banners decrying the Sri Lankan archaeological departments erasure of Tamil history and calling for Land to be given to Tamil people were held. A memorandum was also handed over to the Vavuniya North Divisional Secretary for sending to the President.

Tamil National Alliance MPs Mavai Senathirajah, Vino Noharathalingam and Sritharan, as well as former parliamentarian Sivasakthi Anandan, were present at the protest.

They were joined by Tamil National People’s Front officials and those from the New Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, including Pradeshiya Sabha leaders S. Thanikasalam, Yogan, Municipal Councilor E. Gauthaman, N. Pradeepan, and former Provincial Councilors G. R. Linganathan, S. Mayuran and M. Thiyagaraja amongst others.

This week TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, spoke of government attempts to alter the demography of the Tamil homeland. Commenting on Nedunkeni, Ponnambalam noted “At this stage, steps to link Tamil areas to the Sinhalese parts are being taken in the name of redrawing borders,” he continued. “Already, Nedunkeni in Vavuniya has been linked to Keppadikollava as a result of the redrawing of borders.”

The Sri Lankan government has increased its colonisation efforts in Vavuniya with land grabs attempted by the Forestry and Archaeological department to facilitate the building of illegal Buddhist viharas.

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