A tank which formerly served Tamil agricultural villages in Manalaru was reopened by the Sri Lankan president for Sinhalese settlers earlier this month.
The historic Amaiyan Kulam tank borders the Trincomalee district and falls within the large scale Sinhalised region of Manalaru, renamed by the Sri Lankan government as Weli Oya. The original Tamil inhabitants of the region were evicted in 1984 by Sinhalese paramilitaries.
The tank, refurbished and renamed in Sinhala as Kiri Ippan Wewa, was opened by Sri Lankan president Sirisena during his tour of the North on June 8.
“Sirisena says he is trying to unify the country but he is just encouraging colonisation of our lands,” a Mullaitivu resident said. “Millions of rupees are being poured into handing over our land to settlers and meanwhile those who were evicted before the war are still languishing in refugee camps.”
Tamil groups in Mullaitivu have been criticising the ongoing Sinhalisation of the district at the expense of Tamil residents, especially in the villages bordering the Trincomalee district.