Sri Lankan Archaeology Department officials, with the backing of the occupying military and police, have been attempting to seize lands belonging to a 75-year-old Siva temple and lands that belong to Eezham Tamils at Va’laththaap-piddi in Chammaanthu’rai division of Ampaa’rai district, says Eastern Provincial Councillor M. Rajeswaran. Following complaints from the people, the EPC councillor went to the spot on Tuesday and confronted the Archaeology Department official who was claiming access to the land with a Gazette notice issued by the genocidal State of Sri Lanka.
Tamil people at Va’laththaap-piddi complain about SL land grab to EPC Coucillor
“I told the Sri Lankan military and police officers who were present there with the Archaeology Department official that Tamil people will not allow the seizure of the lands in the name of the Sri Lankan State,” Mr Rajeswaran told media on Friday.
The SL Archaeology Department is trying to excavate one acre of the temple land and 10 acres of lands belonging to Tamil civilians.
As the people had foiled previous attempts to seize the lands, the SL officials and military commanders chose to come after the Colombo government published a gazette notice, he said. There were archaeological artefacts in the lands according to the Gazette notice. But, people have owned the lands for ages, the EPC councillor said.
The Tamil people at the area said they will fight against the SL State move to seize their lands. The Divisional Secretary of Chammaanthu’rai has told the Tamil residents that the move was taking place without the knowledge of the DS, the residents further said.
EPC Councillor Rajeswaran arguing with the SL military officer backing the move by Colombo’s Archaeology Department officials