The all Sinhala Presidential Task Force to manage “Archaeological Heritage” in the Eastern Province serves the interests of Sinhala Buddhists only says Tamil National Alliance Leader (TNA) leader R Sampanthan.
In a letter to the Sri Lankan President, Sampanthan reportedly questioned why other religions and communities had been left out of the task force.
In his letter, Sampanthan wrote:
"It is also necessary to state certain facts pertaining to Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai and the Eastern Province. It is well known that since Independence in 1947 there had been strenuous efforts to convert Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai and the Eastern Province into majority Sinhala speaking areas…In areas of such Sinhala settlement, new electoral and administrative divisions were demarcated so as to strengthen the Sinhala speaking people and to weaken the Tamil speaking people."
See the full letter from The Island here.
Sampanthan’s letter was in response to the establishment of a task force composed entirely of military and police personnel and is headed by Defence Secretary, Kamal Gunaratne, who stands accused of war crimes.
The task force comes as part of the ongoing Sinhalisation of the North-East. The Eastern province, which has been claimed by the Tamil people as being historically inhabited by Tamils, has come under decades of intense Sinhalisation and colonisation from state sponsored settlement schemes.