Ban on water supply threatens agriculture of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
By banning water supply to agriculture and paper mills and supplying water to tourist houses, the Colombo government is putting lives of many Eezham Tamils in stake in Batticaloa. The Sri Lankan Finance Ministry, which comes directly under SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the finance minister in Colombo, has imposed on ban on supply of water from Vaakaneari lake to the agricultural farms, agriculturalists from the area complain.
The water irrigation centre has been advised to direct the waters from Vaakaneari lake to the tourist house jointly set up by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Finance Ministry and paramilitary operative Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan’s Pillaiyan group at the Kalkudda – Paasik-kudaa area, which comes under Koa’ra’laip-pattu division in Batticaloa district.
Orders have been passed to stop the supply of water to paper plant functioning out of Vaazhaich-cheanai – Kaavaththa-munai area.
The Vaakaneari lake that comes under the administration of Vaazhaich-Cheanai Kendra centre was constructed in 1976 for small crops under the large irrigation project. Under the project, water is supplied to over 8,156 acres of paddy lands in 16 areas. Around 6,708 agricultural families are beneficiaries of the scheme.
The lake also supplies water to paper mill that employs over 700 people. Tamil civil officials say that the livelihood of over 7,500 families would be at stake if water supply is stopped at the mill.
Under LTTE’s administration after 1994, the water was supplied freely to all areas and to the paper mill without any hindrance.
However, after Colombo captured the East in 2007, thousands of acres of lands in Kalkudda and Paasik-kudaa areas have been confiscated by SL presidential siblings under the pretext of ‘coastal protection’ and the so-called development scheme known as ‘Kizhakkin uthayam’ (the rise of the East).
This programme has been conceived by the occupying Colombo according to ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ (Mahinda’s vision) committing a structural genocide on Tamils. This ‘Chinthana’ functions much like the same way the LLRC deception is being taken forward in Geneva in providing necessary ‘time’ and ‘space’ for Colombo in committing the structural genocide on the nation of Eezham Tamils.
SL Finance ministry and its paramilitary Pillaiyan Group have come together under the scheme to set up tourist houses. The tourist houses employ hundreds of Sinhalese and their families are settled in the area.
Initially, the Colombo government has said that it would create employment opportunities for the youth of Batticaloa district by setting up tourist houses.
It is reported that at least 5,000 litres of water is being sent to the tourist houses every day.
Even as small crops cultivated during the dry zone are ready for harvest, apprehensions loom large about the crops being destroyed owing to lack of water supply.
Rajapaksa’s Finance Ministry has said that the water required would be supplied under Mathuru-oya water irrigation programme.
It may be noted that a similar request to release water from Mathur-oya water irrigation, which is under Mahaweli water irrigation scheme, for crops in Vadamunai and Kallichchai areas was summarily rejected by Colombo.
By setting up tourist houses at Kalkudda and Paasik-kudaa areas, the SL government in Colombo seems bent on seizing the resources of the district.
In the meantime, anti-social activities have also increased in these areas, Tamils complain.
Participating in a meeting recently, even the SL Government Agent of the district, Mrs B S Charles has gone on record saying that anti social activities were on the rise in the district.