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Sinhala colonisation steps up in Batticaloa as farmers encroach land in Mylanthanaimadu

Batticaloa District representatives from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) visited the Mylanthanaimadu-Periya Maadhavanai grazing and agricultural area to discuss the issues of the disputed land last week, as local Tamils continued to express fears over increasing Sinhala colonisation.

Representatives of the TNA in the Batticaloa District met with locals and spoke out against other political parties in the region, stating that those who collected votes to reclaim the East are “hiding and running in fear of the government” by not taking any disciplinary action against the Sinhala corn cultivators who have been encroaching on the lands.

So far, five thousand acres of land had been confiscated and Tamil livestock farmers of the area have been evicted and displaced by the support of the Sri Lankan state government.

“Where are the people who voted to reclaim the declining lands in Mylanthanaimadu?” the representatives of the TNA questioned. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Co-Chairman of the Development Committee and paramilitary leader Pillaiyan are yet to act, they added.

Earlier this year, the livestock farmers had faced economic crisis when their grazing land and cattle were threatened by the Sinhala corn cultivators. The farmers had stated that they had been raising livestock for generations in Mylanthanaimadu, an area that had been allocated by the government in only 2011 for agriculture from Sinhala farmers.

The Tamil farmers said that they have been in constant threat from the Sinhala community in the neighbouring Polonnaruwa area who have repeatedly encroached on the area.

Although Batticaloa District Secretary P.S.M Charles and members of the TNA brought the matter to the attention of the accused Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sinhala community from Polonnaruwa have been cultivating corn in the area since 2013.

The TNA representatives reporteldy added that they are accumulating documents to file a lawsuit concerning the abductions and assaults on the livestock farmers.

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