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Forest destruction, land grab go unabated in Batticaloa: TNA MP

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 October 2011 08:29 No Comment]

Twenty thousand acres of grazing lands along the border villages in Batticaloa district have been fenced and allocated on lease to the families of the members of Sinhala home guards, according to Batticaloa District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.P.Selvarasa. 8.4 percent forest resources in Batticaloa district have now been reduced 6.4 percent and twelve thousand acres of forest land has been handed over to Mahaweli Development Authority by the Department of Forest, Mr. Selvarasa told journalists in Batticaloa. The SL Mahaweli Development Authority has allocated these lands to the Sinhala home guards at the rate of fifty acres per family, Mr.Selvarasa further told journalists while visiting the village of 38th colony this weekend.

The MP also urged the academics from the Eastern province and people concerned of the environment in general to get organised and voice against the destruction of forest reserves in the Batticaloa district.

The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has failed to stop these unlawful activities even after the matter was brought to their notice, Mr. Selvarasa blamed.

He appealed to Tamils displaced from border villages in the district to protect their lands from being encroached and urged the concerned community organisations and NGOs to assist the uprooted Tamils to put up at least temporary huts and assist speedy resettlement before their lands become occupied.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government has been telling that land could be allocated in the north and east to persons at one acre per family. If that was the government policy, how could they allocate land to Sinhalese at the rate of fifty acres per family, he further questioned.

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