Grabbing 1,500 acres of land at Channaar Velimaruthamadu in Maanthai West of Mannaar district, the Sri Lankan military is hurriedly putting up a large cantonment with houses for military personnel from the South, according to news sources in Mannaar. The area selected for this purpose is a fertile land in the high ground near a tank where Tamil-speaking people were earlier engaged in agriculture and the jungle area has been used for slash-and-burn cultivation. Heavy machineries are deployed to clear and put up the structures for the military colony, at a strategic location, to control the A-32 Mannaar – Poonakari highway and the fishing harbour of Vidaththal-theevu which has traditionally been used by the Eezham Tamils to communicate with Tamil Nadu.
The area of Sinhala militarisation and colonisation in the Mannaar district, abetted by New Delhi and Washington, targeted against the interaction of Eezham Tamils with the coast of Tamil Nadu
Colombo, with tacit approval of New Delhi, is scheming a multi-pronged militarisation in Mannaar, targeting Vidaththal-theevu port of Tamil Catholics, Thalaimannaar Pier in the Mannaar island and Mu’l’lik-ku’lam, where the SL Navy has shifted its naval command for the North, which is also situated near the former Ko’ndachchi colonisation scheme in the south of Mannaar.
Ko’ndachchi, commanding a bay, is the traditional settlement of the Tamil pearl divers of the pearl banks in the Gulf of Mannaar in the historical times.
Sinhala colonists also aim Madu Junction on Mannaar – Vavuniyaa Road near the famous Madu Church.
There is already a large military base at Tha’l’laadi at the entrance to the causeway to Thalai-mannaar island and where the A-32 and A-14 highways towards Jaffna and Vavuniyaa branch off.
Channaar Veli-maruthamadu is situtated around 4 km east of Pa’l’lamadu junction in the A-32 highway.
Surveying of the area has also been carried out by the Sinhala Survey Department officials, according to the civil sources in Mannaar.
In the meantime, the controversial SL Minister of Trade, Rishard Badurdeen, has also taken over 700 acres of land in the nearby area, the sources further said.
Earlier, a large area of jungle was allocated for the people of the nearby villages, mostly Tamil Catholics and Muslims, to engage in slash-and-burn cultivation. Land deeds were also provided to them.
The people later abandoned the hinterland due to displacements caused by the war.
The LTTE-led Tamil civil administration also had distributed the lands to land-less people in the region.
The new SL military enclave, which the SL military claims to be a training base, would be depriving the people of agriculture and land ownership in the region, civil sources in Mannaar say.
As a part of a bartering scheme of economic and strategic interests with genocidal interests between New Delhi and Colombo, Trincomalee, KKS and Mannaar are fast being militarised and Sinhalicised, Tamil political observers in the island said.
The ultimate aim of the ‘policy planners’ of New Delhi and genocidal elements in Colombo, is to contain Tamil Nadu, the political observers further said.