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Thousands of acres in Mullaitivu used for Sinhalese settlements – NPC member

Since the armed conflict ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan military has occupied thousands of acres of land for Sinhalese settlements stated Northern Provincial Council member T Ravikaran.

Approximately 4712.5 acres of land has been grabbed by the military in the district alone, said the NPC member, with 9 Buddhist viharas constructed and 794 Sinhalese families settled in the region.

He further stated that Sinhalese fishermen were  in particular being settled in areas with high revenues for fishing, namely Kokkilai, Kokkuthoduvai, Pulipaynthakal, Naayaaru and Kokkilai Harbour. With these fishermen receiving military support, Tamil livelihood in the region has continued to suffer, said the councillor.

In 1965 there were 56 fishing centres (Paadugal) and only 18 were owned by Sinhalese fishermen added Mr Ravikaran. Now however that situation has reversed completely, with the Tamil fishermen owning only 18 centres.

Not only has this prevented Tamils from being resettled in their own lands, but this shows the economy of the Tamil people is being destroyed in a planned and systematic manner, he concluded.

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