Sri Lanka’s military commander occupying Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, on Monday openly admitted to media in Jaffna that the so-called High Security Zone of Valikaamam on the Northern coast of Jaffna Peninsula, occupied and displaced of its Tamil inhabitants in the guise of High Security Zone (HSZ) two decades ago, will now be converted into a permanent Sri Lanka/ Sinhala Military Zone (SMZ). Meanwhile, genocidal Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, visiting Jaffna on Monday, has opened a ‘tourist resort’ of the SL Navy at Mayiliddi in the said SMZ. The major fishing port of Eezham Tamils at Mayiliddi will cease to exist hereafter and the occupying Sinhala military has undertaken cultivation of onions using spring irrigation in the traditional horticultural lands of Eezham Tamils in the SMZ that has been created.
Speaking to media at the ‘Civil Coordinating Office’ of the genocidal SL military occupying Jaffna, and ‘officially’ admitting the conversion of Jaffna HSZ into SMZ, Hathururusinghe compared the appropriation of lands to the creation of old Ratmalana airport at Colombo and the Katunayake zone near Colombo, where Sri Lanka’s Air Force Base, International Airport and an international corporate industrial zone are now located.
An ‘official’ notification would follow and people who lost properties would be compensated, the announcement ironically came from the occupying military commander, while such announcements have to come from the parliament in the island after a debate and voting, if the Eezham Tamils and their lands are actually part of the jurisdiction of that parliament and if that parliament means anything to Eezham Tamils, Tamil political circles questioned.
Even in such a case Sri Lanka’s parliament and the Sinhala military are the same, but the current SL military modus operandi clearly demonstrates the Rajapaksa regime and the military superseding the parliament and becoming extra-constitutional when it comes to Tamil matters. If the USA and India in complicity actually don’t have any direct hands in what is going on, what qualms do they have in taking measures extra-constitutional against the militarized and genocidal State in the island, asked the Tamil political circles.
The SL Commander comparing the KKS-Palaali complex with Rantmalana and Katunayake didn’t compare the differences between the Sinhala nation’s regime in Colombo creating a zone in its territory with the silent assent of its people and the regime creating a zone in the occupied territory of another’s nation amidst militarized intimidation and colonisation.
The Royal Air Force of the British colonial empire created the airfields at Palaali, Ratmalana Katunayake, China Bay (Trincomalee) and at several other places more or less at the same time. The major bases were at Katunayake and Trincomalee, which the British wanted to retain even after the so-called independence in 1948, but they were asked to quit by SWRD Bandaranayake regime in 1956.
Mrs. Bandaranayake’s regime built the international airport at Katunayake and Jayawardane’s regime brought in the Free Trade Zone there by appropriating more lands with the assent of people, as they were not involved with the question of one nation annihilating another.
What does Hathurusinghe mean in comparing the Jaffna SMZ to Ratmalana and Katunayake? Does he mean the British colonialism and think that his military is its successor, asked new generation political activists in Jaffna.
Meanwhile, a yoghurt factory run by the SL military was recently opened at Maathakal where it has set another military enclave. A military tourist resort in Sinhala name, Del Sewana, was opened at KKS some time back. Two more tourist hotels for the SL soldiers and their families to relax were also opened in this January inside the SMZ. The star tourist resort that was opened by Rajapaksa on Monday was in the same lines.
What is introduced and experimented by the Sinhala military or through the Sinhala military by the powers in complicity is a very unique model of structural genocide, similar to the ‘genocide without witnesses’ they demonstrated on Eezham Tamils in the Vanni War.
This is Cantonment Corporatism by converting an ethnic military into Lascarin military, commented new generation political activists in Jaffna.
Meanwhile, Mayiliddi, the only fishing harbour in the northern coast that had facilities for long-stay fishing in the seas is not going to belong to Tamils anymore. With the open declaration of the Sinhala military on the creation of SMZ and Mayiliddi coming under it, the Mayiliddi fishermen are now asked to move to Tho’ndaimaanaa’ru, which according to the fishermen is not as suitable as the Mayiliddi coast.
Besides, Mayiliddi and its two landing points, Veeramaa’nikkath-theavan-thu’rai and Periya-naadduth-theavan-thu’rai are traditionally prestigious settlements of the chieftains of the coastal folk as the names indicate.
Selvarasa Pathmanathan, alias KP, who while in the captivity of Colombo called for the diaspora to collaborate with the Rajapaksa regime, comes from Mayiliddi. With nostalgic feelings he recently took pictures of him in front of Mahajana College, Thellippazhai, where he had studied. He should better take pictures of Mayiliddi before it is lost forever to him and to Tamils, commented a villager displaced from Mayiliddi.