US based advocacy group, People for Equality and Relief in Sri Lanka (PEARL), released its third instalment of its Sinhalisation of the North-East series, focusing on the impact of state-sponsored Sinhalisation and militarisation of Seruwila-Verugal.
Data gathered by PEARL researchers in the series examines how Sinhalisation and militarisation is used to deliberately shift the demographics of Tamil and Muslim areas.
“Trincomalee was a historically majority Tamil-speaking region, with both Tamils and Muslims dominating the district until the mid-20th Century. But land settlement and development policies of successive governments have been ‘a major factor in altering the demography of the eastern province in favor of the Sinhalese.’ The establishment of irrigation and development schemes is thought to be a pretext to state-sponsored colonization and a deliberate re-engineering of the demographics of the region. The settlement of Sinhalese in Trincomalee is seen as a strategic way to ‘weaken the ethnic balance of minorities and sabotage their territorial-based autonomy claims.’”
See more from PEARL here.