More than 3,500 Tamil families still remain uprooted from fifteen DS divisions in Ampaa’rai, civil officials in the district said. 6,500 acres of paddy fields, 3,500 acres of coconut lands and about 2,000 acres of lands, used for sugar cane cultivation, have also been appropriated from the Tamils since 13 April 1967. Since 2007, new Buddhist stupas have mushroomed with the backing of the occupying Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) commandos, the sources further said adding that more than 20 Saiva shrines have been destroyed. Tamil people who fled from their traditional villages in Ampaa’rai district now ask whether they would also get their lands according to the assurances given by the SL Minister Rauf Hakeem, the civil sources said.
Tamils have been driven out from the villages in fifteen DS divisions such as Chammaathu’rai, Addaa’laich-cheanai, Akkaraip-pattu, Poththuvil, Kalmunai, Chaaynthamaruthu, I’rakkaamam, Ampaa’rai, Aalaiyadivempu, Kaaraitheevu, Naavithanve’li, Thirukkoayil, Uhana, and Lahugala in Ampaa’rai district.
Tamils were chased away during the 1983 pogroms by the Sinhala thugs.
There have been riots between the Tamils and Muslims in 1985 and in 1990.
The Eastern Province was brought under the control of the genocidal Sri Lanka Army in 2007.
Due to fear and pressure, some Tamil families have sold their lands.
The Sinhala army has appropriated Tamil areas and build new Buddhist Viharas.
In the meantime, Rauf Hakeem, the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), who currently holds the portfolio of Minister of Justice in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s UPFA government, has recently told a foreign envoy in Colombo that steps would be taken to return the lands and properties illegally appropriated from the people during the conflict.