Northern Provincial Council member, T Ravikaran has rubbished claims that the current Sri Lankan government does not participate in Sinhalisation of the North, saying that Sinhala settlements have continued with the current government and that the Sri Lankan President was anyway complicit in his role as Mahaweli development minister the previous regimes.
Responding to claims by Sri Lankan cabinet minister Rajitha Senaratne that planned Sinhala settlements in Vavuniya and Mullaitivu did not take place under the current unity government, Ravikaran, a Mullaitivu representative, pointed out the several examples of Sinhala colonisation which were taking place under the current government.
The introduction of the Hipul Oya scheme has seen mass Sinhala colonisation of Vavuniya and Mullaitivu districts’ border villages, the council member said.
The attempted colonisation of Vellaikallady was stopped because of the fierce opposition of the local Tamil people, he said. A similar incident occurred in Sivanthamurippu when Sinhalese people turned up with heavy vehicles to colonise the area but were turned back by local opposition.
In addition to the lands appropriated by the Mahaweli development scheme, the forestry department, archaeology department, wildlife department and many other government front’s have continued to swallow thousands of acres of Tamil land under the current government, Ravikaran said.
Ravikaran pointed out that several border villages of Mullaitivu and Vavuniya had been subject to Sinhalisation by the Mahaweli development surveys carried out under the authority of Maithripala Sirisena himself, and that thousands of acres of Tamils’ cultivation land had also been appropriated in the process.
The original Tamil owners of those lands stand destitute today, Ravikaran said.
Highlighting recent incidents where Sinhalese families had been granted property deeds for forcibly and illegally appropriated lands, Ravikaran slammed the government’s attempts to distance itself from the issue of Sinhalisation of the North.