The Sinhala officials of Mahaweli ‘Development’ Authority and the Divisional Secretary of Ma’nalaa’ru Sinhalicised into ‘Weli Oya’, on Sunday chased out the uprooted Tamil people of Kokkuth-thoduvaay, which is situated at the border of Mullaiththeevu and Trincomlaee districts, when the Tamil farmers attempted to resume cultivation in their paddy fields, news sources in Mullaiththeevu said. The Sri Lankan State evicted the Tamil cultivators in 1984. Although some of them were resettled in 2011, they were not returned with their lands even after two years of their ‘resettlement’.
The Tamil farmers were told by the ‘Welioya’ Divisional Secretary that the resettled farmers could not be allowed to do cultivation. However, the resettled Tamil famers started ploughing their paddy fields located at Ma’nalaa’ru, Sukantha-mu’rippu and Eringcha-kaadu on Sunday.
A group of Sinhalese suddenly appeared at the site and ‘ordered’ the Tamil farmers to leave the lands as they were ‘not allowed’ to do the cultivation.
Thereafter, the Sinhalese group had made a ‘complaint’ to the Divisional Secretary and Mahaweli Development Authority officials. Mahaweli Development Authority officials later visited the sites and ordered the Tamil farmers to leave the area as these paddy lands are given to Sinhalese for cultivation and the Tamil farmers are not allowed to come to these paddy lands.
Tamil farmers should do cultivation beyond the area called Kodduk-kea’ni and not in the lands allocated for the Sinhalese was the message. If they violate, the instruction was that they should be reported to the SL Police, the MDA officials had warned the Tamil farmers.
A similar sequence took place in Sinhalicising Padawiya a few decades ago. A new colonisation scheme was started in the then Tamil village Pathi-vaavi in the late 1940s and lands were distributed to both Tamils and Sinhalese, but in the 1958 pogrom, the Tamils were chased out and they were never allowed to resettle. This is once again re-enacted in the case of the newly created, Sinhalicised, Weli Oya division, old generation of the local farmers remembered.
The Weli Oya division is a further extension of Padawiya region in wedging the Tamil contiguity of the North and East.