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SINHALA COLONISATION OF
Virginia Leary on State Colonisation of Traditional Tamil Areas - Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka - Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists, July/August 1981
"...Tamils have objected to State colonisation schemes
which import large numbers of Sinhalese into traditional
Tamil areas. The Tamil concern about colonisation is
related to insecurity about their physical safety and to
fears that Tamils will become a minority in their
traditional homelands. The government maintains that
since Sri Lanka is a single country citizens may freely
move into any part of the country and that it is
necessary to transplant some populations to more
productive areas. The Tamils answer that they are not
opposed to individual migration but only to large scale
government colonisation schemes which change the ethnic
composition of an area...
On forced eviction of Tamils - Robert Kilroy-Silk, M.P. and Roger Sims, M.P United Kingdom Parliamentary Human Rights Group Report on February 1985
also confirmed allegations made to us that whole
villages have been emptied and neighbourhoods have been
driven by the army from their homes and occupations and
turned into refugees dependent on the government for dry
rations... The human rights transgressed in such a course
of action do not need to be detailed here...
Sinhalese - Tamil Relations & the Politics of Space - Professor Chelvadurai Manogaran at London Symposium, June 1997 [full text]
"...Sinhalese colonization of Tamil districts was willfully carried out to change the ethnic and political character of Tamil areas.It is estimated that almost a quarter of the island's population was moved from the Wet Zone to the Dry Zone between 1946 and 1971, under peasant colonization schemes. These colonization schemes altered the ethnic composition of Tamil provinces. In particular, Sinhalese population in the Trincomalee District increased from 3.8% to 33.6% of the total population between 1911 and 1981. During the same period, the Tamil population decreased from 56.8% to 33.7% in the district. In the Amparai District, Sinhalese population increased from 7.0% to 38%, while the Tamil population declined from 37.0% to 20.0% between 1911 and 1981. This rapid increase in the number of Sinhalese settlers in the Eastern Province led to the creation of the Sinhalese electorates of Seruvila and Amparai in 1976..."
"Sri Lanka has announced plan to colonise all Tamil areas with Sinhala settlers to reflect the nationwide population ratio of 75% Sinhalese and 25% other minority ethnic groups." Joint Memorandum submitted by a group of nine Non Governmental Organisations, February 1985 [see full text]
"The President of Sri Lanka has
announced his Government's plan to colonise all Tamil
areas with Sinhala settlers to reflect the nationwide
population ratio of 75% Sinhalese and 25% other minority
ethnic groups. This is calculated to undermine the
numerical strength of Tamils in areas where they have
"All wars are fought for land.. By settling the (Sinhala) people in the Maduru Oya we were seeking to have in the Batticaloa zone a mass of persons opposed to a separate state." Sinhala Mahaveli Ministry Official, Herman Gunaratne in the Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 26 August 1990
Buddhist Dimbugala Priest
"All wars are fought for
land...The plan for settlement of people in Yan
Oya and Malwathu Oya basins was worked out before the
communal riots of 1983. Indeed the keenest minds in the
Mahaveli, some of whom are holding top international
positions were the architects of this plan. My role was
that of an executor...
"The Sinhala people should know that the so called state aided 'colonisation schemes' within Tamil areas having nothing to do with solving landlessness among the Sinhala poor" - Open Letter from the Central Committee of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to the Sinhala people, 22 September 1991
Villages East Villages - S.Jeyananthamoorthy
[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 March 2008, 16:33 GMT]
"Population of Sinhalese in the East was a mere 0.53 percent in 1827 but due to systematic colonisation and subsequent establishment of military camps along the borders of traditional Tamil areas, Sinhala settlers encroached into more than 25 percent of land owned by Tamils," said Maavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, addressing, as the chief guest, to a gathering in Colombo Saturday on the occasion of the release of a book "Destroyed Tamil Villages," authored by fellow Member of Parliament (MP), S.Jeyananthamoorthy, literary sources in Colombo said. T. Kangasabai, Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian presided the function.
"The Sinhala political parties have now begun confiscating the lands of not only Tamils but also of Muslims in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampaa'rai districts, Mr Maavai Senathirajah said.
"Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse's regime has gone further enforcing military activities in Tamil areas, driving a wedge among communities, arousing hatred and committing genocide in the East.
"Late parliamentarian K.W.Devanayagam, even though he had opposing views, yet he took action against the forced encroachment of Tamil lands in the East. In the past, a number of people from the East have died fighting against aggression and encroachment of lands owned by Tamils," MP Maavai Senathirajah said.
The author of the book, TNA MP S.Jeyananthamoorthy, speaking at the function charged that paramilitary groups in East are collaborating with Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in destroying the resources of Tamils, confiscating their lands and are involved in other nefarious activities to the impediment of that region.
"These activities have been now well documented and will serve as historical lessons for tomorrow's community," Mr.Jeyananthamoorthy added.
Batticaloa district parliamentarians P.Ariyanarenthiran, K. Thangeswary, Ampaa'rai district parliamentarians K.Pathmanathan, Chandrakankanthan Chandranehru, Trincomalee district parliamentarian Thurairatnam, Ex-MP M.K.Eelaventhan, Secretary General of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) Inthrakumar Prasanna, S.Devaraj Editor of weekly edition of Veerakesari, a number of dignitaries, and Government employees participated in the event.
Extracts from the book follows:
Recorded history of Sri Lanka indicates Tamil community was first targeted for attack by Sinhala community in 1956. However, in the aftermath of the Sinhala-Tamil riots in 1958, Tamils residing in the border villages were often attacked by both Sinhalese as well as Muslims, the third minority group in Sri Lanka. Tamils were affected in various ways including mass scale massacres, loss of property and land encroachments.
Tamils in every part of the island suffered heavily during the 1983 July riots. However, the incidents described in the book "Destroyed Tamil Villages" refer only to the violent killings that took place in the East after the commencement of Eelam War-2.
This book while describing the origin of the border villages of Tamils in Batticaloa - Ampaa'rai districts, their characteristic features, the general pattern of life of the residents of these villages also provides details regarding when and by whom these hamlets were destroyed.
The detailed facts about the horrendous events that took place in 24 Villages from the two districts are documented in this book. The villages in Batticaloa district include Mayilanthanai, Meeraavoadai, Ki'n'niyadi, Puluddumaanodai, Thaanthaamalai, Sinnavaththai, Vaakarai, Thoa'nithaaddamadu, Thiyaavaddavaan, Oamadiyaamadu, Ka'n'napuram 35th colony, Valaiyi'ravu, Ea'raavoor, Saththurukko'ndaan, Ve'l'laamaichcheanai, Pullumalai, Vadamunai, Kokkaddichoalai, Makizhadiththeevu, and other villages including Veeramunai, Thangkavealaayuthapuram, Karavaahu, Thiraaykkea'ni, Udumpanku'lam in Ampaa'rai district.
The book has spotlighted to the outside world that whenever Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres attacked Sri Lanka Army (SLA) during Eelam War -2, the troops run amok in the adjoining villages and stage revenge killings, commit sexual assaults and rape, loot the valuables, and pave the path for land encroachment driving out local residents.
The author has chronicled in his book some of the mass
scale killings of SLA including:
The author charges SLA of murdering several young women after sexually assaulting them. The book, describes as planned acts by the Sri Lanka military, how the troops arrive at the site of crime of after a lapse of a few hours, and instead of providing protection to the area, forcibly load the residents and transport them to some other areas.
No compensation was paid to the families of the victims. In addition even though there was credible evidence of the SLA troopers involved in these killings, rarely any action taken against the culprits. After most massacres Presidential Commissions were set up to hold enquiries, but commissions have produced no actionable reports, rarely indicating culpability of security forces.
Tamil residents from Chinnavaththai within Poaratheevupattu District Secretary's area, Oamadiyaamadu within Koaralaippattu North District Secretary's area and Vadamunai village in Koaralaippattu South District Secretary's administrative area were evicted and well planned colonisations were implemented annexing lands of Tamils.
People displaced from places such as Vaaharai, Valaiyi'ravu, Ki'n'niyadi are still living as refugees within the military camps in the two districts, the author states. Further, Muslim thugs acting together with SLA have committed violence against residents of Meeraavoadai, Thiyaavaddavaan and Ea'raavoor.
The author has highlighted how the late Minister and former leader of Muslim Congress, Ashraf, turned a Tamil village Meenoadaikkaddu into a Muslim area.