The housing assistance provided to war-affected uprooted families in the North and East is being used to colonise the Tamil homeland with Sinhala settlers from South in Mullaiththeevu district, says Tamil Councillor of the Northern Provincial Council Mr Thurairasa Raviharan. While the resettled Tamil families are deprived of housing at Chaa’lampaik-ku’lam in Mullaiththeevu district, Sinhalese settlers are being provided brand new houses constructed with Indian assistance, he said. This is not only a betrayal by India, but also a recognition of the structural genocide being committed by the Sri Lankan State, Mr Raviharan told media.
Chaa’lampaik-ku’lam is situated in Ma’nalaa’ru division, closer to Thennaimaravadi in Trincomalee district. The entire division renamed into Sinhala as Weli-oya is being schemed as a Sinhala Only division in the district.
Also, a village close to Chaa’lampaik-ku’lam is being prepared for another Sinhala colony.
85 uprooted Tamil families were brought to their village Chaa’lampaik-ku’lam in December 2012 for resettlement. They were provided temporary huts and were promised housing and dry rations till they were able to sustain their livelihoods. But, everything stopped there.
The Tamil families still languish in the temporary huts, which were initially meant for 6 months.
Now, 150 Tamil families are living there without proper assistance. Only a few of them have received 25,000 rupees per family as promised by the Sri Lankan authorities. 100 more families are scheduled to join them.
In 2010, India announced that it would construct 50,000 houses for the uprooted people in the North and East. The project has failed to deliver, uprooted peoples representatives in North and East complain.
The announcement of the housing scheme was made in parallel to the announcement of major ‘development’ assistance programmes by India to rebuild the Northern railroad, KKS Harbour, KKS Cement Factory and the Palaali airport.
The target area where the airport, harbour and the cement factory are situated is now being encapsulated with a major Sinhala military settlement and has become the hub of the continued structural genocide in the Jaffna peninsula. The Valikaamam North area situated between these military installations has been transformed into a Sinhala Military Zone (SMZ).
As the roads constructed with Chinese assistance are serving Colombo’s structural genocide of Eezham Tamils, the reconstructed railway line will be serving as a crucial transport infrastructure to the Sinhalicisation of North. Already, there is a move to rename Elephant Pass Railway station into Sinhala.
India cannot bring rehabilitation or reconstruction without bringing political justice to the Eelam Tamils as a nation in the island, commented political observers in Jaffna.