Attempting to incite community hatred between various Tamil-speaking communities of Naanaaddaan, Rishard Badurdeen, the Industry and Commerce Minister of the occupying Sri Lanka, has again interfered in the civic affairs, sabotaging the efforts by the Bishop of Mannaar to resolve a land dispute in Pon-theevu-ka’ndal village, news sources in Mannaar said. The SL minister has played a crucial role in creating a conflict between the residents of the Muslim village of Poovarasang-ku’lam and Pon-theevu-ka’ndal where non-Muslim Tamils live. The SL Police and government officials are under the control of the controversial minister, who has been behind causing unrest between Catholics and Muslims in the district.
Last year, when Badurdeen incited violence and went on record in SL parliament issuing a threatening statement against the Bishop of Mannaar, there were widespread protests against him in the North.
Recently, the Divisional Secretary of Naanaaddaan, who was allegedly under the influence of Mr Badurdeen, went ahead with a plan to distribute lands to Muslims and non-Muslims in Pon-theevu-ka’ndal village. As some Muslim villagers from the nearby Poovarasang-ku’lam started to construct houses in Pon-theevu-ka’ndal on Monday, the villagers objected to the move.
Following the episode, a meeting was held at Naanaaddaan Divisional Secretariat. When the divisional secretary was taking the side of SL minister Badurdeen, the protesting villagers of Pon-theevu-ka’ndal attacked the secretariat causing damage to the secretariat. The officials of the secretariat went on a protest, and the SL minister reportedly instructed the DS officials in Musali and Mannaar to join the boycott against the attack on Naanaaddaan divisional secretariat.
Sri Lankan police arrested 65 villagers of Pon-theevu-ka’ndal, including women, on charges of attack against the Naanaaddaan secretariat. The arrested were sent to Anuradhapura remand prison. On Wednesday, the District Court of Mannaar ordered 18 of these to be detained till 18th December and granted bail to the remaining 47 on a surety of Rs 25,000 each.
In the meantime, when Mannaar Bishop and the Catholic priests wanted the SL Government Agent M.Y.S. Deshapriya, to resolve the conflict, the SLGA, who is behind the Sinhalicisation of Mannaar, has told them that the people concerned should resolve the dispute at the Divisional Secretariat in Naanaaddaan.