Illegal appropriation of pasturelands by Sinhala settlers in Paduvaankarai area in Batticaloa district has been taking place with the ‘blessings’ of Colombo’s ruling party politicians. If this trend is allowed 20 to 25 thousand acres of lands would soon be appropriated illegally, paving way to elect a Sinhala parliamentarian from the district, owners of cattle farms have told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians who have been ignoring their plight.
Tamil officials from the district, employed in government sector, are also intimidated by the SLFP ‘politicians’, who warn them not to voice against the land appropriation taking place in Paduvaankarai region. The Tamil officials say that they are forced to carry out their ‘official’ duties amid intimidation and pressure from the top in Colombo. Those who oppose would be transferred to Sinhala South.
They are facing intimidations from paramilitary groups operated by the SL military, so-called advisors to SL president from the district and SLFP ‘politicians’ from the district aligned with the Rajapaksa government in Colombo. All the three groups have started to compete with each other in serving Rajapaksa siblings and are operating with next elections in mind, the residents of Paduvaankarai say.
Land appropriation by Sinhalese in the district has taken a worst turn with the sudden transfer of Tamil government officials who act against the illegal appropriation of lands according to the whims and fancies of those serving the interests of Colombo.
Land appropriation by Sinhalese takes place in the east and west of the district while Muslim interests challenge the residents of Tamil villages in the north of the district.