Building of new military camps and command centers, and forced, illegal acquisition of Tamil-owned lands, continue unabated in the Amapaa’rai district after the conclusion of the war in 2009, T. Kalaiyarasan, an elected member of the Eastern Province Municipal Council, said this week, commenting on the Colombo-directed policy of land-grab of ancestral land belonging to Tamils by Sri Lanka military, sources in the East said. Kalaiyarasan also noted that Colombo, while ignoring the plight of Tamil people affected by war, appeared to be pursuing with single-minded determination in stealing Tamil-owned lands in different districts of Tamil homeland, including the East.
Sri Lanka military has forcefully grabbed 50 acres of Tamil ancestral lands belonging to 43 Tamils in the Malvaththai radio broadcasting corporation in the Chammaan-thu’rai Piratheasa Chapai (PS) division, and have built large scale buildings, Kalaiyarasan pointed out.
"These lands were in possession of Tamil families for more than 30 years, and have been maintained by these families. The families have all the required legal documents and deeds attesting to their legal ownership. While there is already a expansive military camp close to the Malvaththai area, Colombo does not have any compelling need to build another military camp in the land grabbed from Tamils," Kalaiyarasan said.
Kalaiyarasan also said that in Naavithan-ve’li Pirathreasa Chapai divsion the Sri Lanka military is making moves to grab 10 acres of land belonging to the Irrigation sector to expand and reinforce the existing military camp.
In 2012, new military installations have also been built in the Periya Neelaava’nai, Kalmunai, Kaa’rai-theevu, and Thirukkoayil PS divisions in Ampaa’rai district, Kalaiyarasan said.
"During the 1983 anti-Tamil pogroms, 183 acres of Tamil ancestral agricultural land in the Thoddaach-churukki-vaddai, and 197 acres of Tamil lands in Malaiyadi-veddai were forcefully acquired by a Buddhist Monk, and were distributed to Sinhala settlers for cultivation. Tamil owners in these villages possess the necessary legal deeds establishing their ownership," Kalaiyarasan pointed out.
"When as the result of Tamil-owners filing legal action the Court issued orders directing that the illegally appropriated lands be given back to the legal owners, Colombo used the bogey of terrorism to block Tamils from cultivating their own lands. Currently while Colombo proclaims that peace has returned, Colombo has not taken any step to return the appropriated lands to the legal owners," Kalaiyarasan added.