The leader of opposition in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), Mr Singaraveloo Thandayuthapani, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) politician on Monday briefed the Deputy High Commissioner of UK Mr Robbie Bulloch, who was on an official visit to Trincomalee district. The TNA politician described the land appropriation by the Sri Lanka Army affecting Eezham Tamils in the district as a systematic and planned act of demographic genocide.
The British Deputy High Commissioner during his tour in Trincomalee district also witnessed the plight of uprooted Eezham Tamils from Champoor villages. The people are now sheltered against their will at the so-called welfare camps in Moothoor East.
Champoor uprooted people are languishing in four camps in Kaddai-pa’richchaan, Ki’liveddi, Paddiththidal and Ma’nat-chaenai since April 2006.
During his one hour discussion with Mr Bulloch, the TNA politician, Mr Thandayuthapani, briefed the visiting diplomat on the extent of lands and paddy fields being appropriated from Eezham Tamils by the agencies of Colombo government.
Mr Bulloch was also told how Buddhist viharas and stupas were being constructed replacing the existing Saiva koayils in the district.
Mr Thanadayuthapani cited the latest move by the SL authorities to appropriate 3,000 acres of paddy fields belonging to Tamil farmers for the construction of a Buddhist Vihara at Thiriyaay.
In the meantime, the administration of several centuries old Kanniyaa hot wells has been handed over to a Buddhist monk. Earlier, the wells were under the control of Trincomalee Town and Gravets PS.
A Murukan Koayil in Ilankaith-thu’rai-mukaththuvaaram and Malai Neeliyamman Koayil in Kaladdi in Moothoor East have been converted as Buddhist holy places by Buddhist monks with the support of occupying Sri Lanka Army, the visiting British deputy high commissioner was told.
Paddy fields of Tamil farmers in Padukaadu and Muslim farmers in Muthalai-madu and Vavu’na-vil in Moothoor division have been appropriated by Sinhala farmers backed by the Sri Lankan military.
In Champoor area about 9600 acres covering four village level divisions with eight Saiva Koayils and four Tamil schools have been appropriated by the Colombo government under the guise of High Security Zone since the occupation of Champoor by the SL military in 2006.
Around 1,400 acres of the appropriated lands have been allocated for the proposed Thermal Power Plant, which is to be constructed with the assistance of India and for the construction for the Special Economic Development Zone by the Colombo government.
“The uprooted Tamil villagers are not allowed to resettle even in the remaining lands. They languish in camps as refugees without basic facilities. They are also denied their livelihood assistance such dry ration relief provided by the World Food Programme as they refused to accept alternate lands earmarked by the government for resettlement, ” the TNA delegation told the visiting diplomat, urging the British government to take action to provide relief to the suffering Eezham Tamils from Champoor.
Mr Bulloch also met the UPFA nominated Chief Minister Mr Najeeb Abdul Majeed.