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CV Wigneswaran accuses Sri Lanka of pushing for the Sinhala displacement of Tamils

Leader of the Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kootan (TMTK), CV Wigneswaran, accused Sri Lankan authorities of supporting Sinhala settlers to displace native Tamils in the North and East.

In his statement, he condemned the island as an ethnocracy and points to projects such as the Mahaweli development projects as evidence of a long-term plot to permanently shift the demography of the Tamil homeland. In the past few months, the island has seen protests staged by Tamil farmers in Batticaloa against the encroachment of Sinhala settlers which has seen them unable to use their grazing land and seen the livestock mutilated.

Wigneswaran also slammed the increasing Buddhisation of the island. In his statement he notes that the Sri Lankan state has destroyed at least 1,800 temples. This year Tamilshave staged protests against the imposition of Buddhist viharas in Kurunthurmalai, Mayilaththamadu and Iluppaikulam.

The TMTK further emphasised the geopolitical concerns raised by this shift stating:

“Sri Lankan Tamils are a buffer between India and pro-China Sinhalas from southern Sri Lanka. But over the years, the Sinhala population has been encouraged to move into the northern and eastern territories that belong to the Tamil population which has historically been close to India because of cultural affinity”. 

He further maintained that:

“Tamils are desperately looking towards India to provide, protection, security, and justice; promote economic development and connectivity projects in the Tamil Homeland; secure the right of self-determination and protection for the Shiva Bhoomi; ensure full implementation of the Indo-Lanka accord”.

Wigneswaran’s call to implement the Indo-Lanka accord have been may be seen as controversial as some Tamils hold that the accords did not go far enough in demanding genuine devolution for Tamils and maintains Colombo’s control over the island. Criticism further notes that the accords were agreed to by India and Sri Lanka without the presence of Tamil representatives.

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