The Sri Lankan state in Colombo continues to systematically ignore development of Tamil areas in the Ampaa’rai district of the Eastern Province under the district development programme, says A. Kalaiyarasan, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) elected councilor at the Eastern Provincial Council. The SL authorities show interest in implementing development programmes by allocating more funds to Sinhalese and Muslim villages, excluding Tamil areas, Kalaiarasan says further adding that only 9.8 percent of the total funds of 131.4 million rupees, allocated for the implementation of ‘national development programme’ in the district, has been allocated for Tamil villages in Thirukkoayil Tamil division, Aalaiyadivempu, Chaainthamaruthu, Kaaraitheevu, and Naavithanve’li.
Of twenty Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions in the Ampaa’rai district, five DS divisions with Tamils have been completely neglected in the development in a planned way by Colombo.
Several Tamil villages in the district have been destroyed in war after 1990. No meaningful development has taken place in the destroyed Tamil areas even after 2009.
32.2 percent (439 million rupees) of the total funds has been allocated for the development of Muslim areas in Chammanthu’rai, Poththuvil, Akkaraippattu, Addaa’laich-cheanai, I’rakkaamam, Ninthavoor and Kalmunai Muslim area, the TNA councilor says.
58 percent (719 million rupees) has been allocated for the development of Sinhala villages, Ampaa’rai, Dehiyatakandy, Thamana, Lahugalle, Pathiyathalawa, Maha Oya and Uhana.
“Compared to Sinhala and Muslim villages in the district, Tamil villages are mostly destroyed due to war and natural disaster. Those who have been resettled in these villages are not yet provided with basic amenities and livelihood assistance. But more funds are being allocated to less affected Sinhalese and Muslim villages,” Mr Kalaiarasan told media.
The main aim behind the allocation of more funds to Sinhala divisions is to appropriate more lands belonging to Tamils and settle down members of Sinhalese being brought from other parts of the island, he alleged.
Eezham Tamils were the majority people in the Ampaarai district before the year 1957.
The number of Tamils has gone down due to SL state-sponsored Sinhala colonization in the district.