Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishard Badurdeen, who has been inciting conflicts among the Tamil-speaking people in Mannaar and Mullaiththeevu districts, has now threatened more than 40 Tamil families living in Paarathi-puram village in Vavuniyaa to vacate from their village, news sources in Vavuniyaa told TamilNet. Accompanied with five Pakistani officials and British trained Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF), the SL minister has gone to the village last week claiming that a factory is going to be built at Paarathipuram and that the Indian origin Tamils living there since 1977 should vacate from their settlement.
The Upcountry Tamils were settled at Paarathi-puram in 1977 when they faced anti-Tamil pogroms in the South.
The living standard of the families is still below the poverty line and the families are dependent upon daily earnings.
Mr Badurdeen has now claimed that the lands where the Tamils are settled belongs to the SL Department of Forest Conservation and that their settlement is ‘illegal’.
The SL minister has gone threatening the families without providing any alternative arrangement to them, said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Sivaskathi Anandan when contacted by TamilNet.
When the Tamil parliamentarian contacted the civil officials in Vavuniyaa the officials had cited the SL minister as claiming to build a housing scheme at the locality for Muslims and Tamils.
But, the people at the locality said Mr Badurdeen, who was accompanied by Pakistani officials and the Sri Lankan STF commandos, was consistent in claiming that their lands were being taken over by the SL State to build a factory.
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 Mannaar district.
Mr Badurdeen has also been behind appropriating public lands allocated for forest conservation in Vanni to create settlements for his supporters who were being brought from elsewhere into Mullaiththeevu district.