இராணுவ, சிங்கள – பவுத்த மயமாக்கல் ஆகியவற்றால் முற்றுகையிடப்படும் தமிழீழம்!  

இராணுவ, சிங்கள – பவுத்த மயமாக்கல் ஆகியவற்றால் முற்றுகையிடப்படும் தமிழீழம்!

நக்கீரன்
 

இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் பெற்ற 62 ஆவது ஆண்டு நிறைவை சிங்கள தேசம் கண்டியில் கொண்டாடி மகிழ்ந்துள்ளது. அவர்களது மகிழ்ச்சிக்குக் காரணம் இருக்கிறது. இலங்கையின் வட – கிழக்கு மாகாணங்களை சிங்களப் பேரினவாத அரசு தனது மேலாண்மைக்குள் வேகமாகக் கொண்டு வருகிறது.

இலங்கைத் தீவின் வரலாற்றில் அது என்றுமே ஒரு நாடாக, ஒரே அரசாக இருந்தில்லை. இராசரட்டை, உறுகுணரட்டை, மாயரட்டை என இலங்கை மூன்றாகப் பிரிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது. இவற்றை வௌ;வேறு குறுநில அரசர்கள் ஆண்டார்கள்.

முதலாவது விஜயபாகு, ஆறாவது விக்கிரமபாகு இவர்கள் காலத்திலேயே இலங்கை ஒரு குடைக்குள் ஆளப்பட்டது எனக் கொள்ளலாம்.

குடியேற்ற நாடுகளில் ஒன்றான போர்த்துக்கேசியர் புயலில் சிக்குண்டு கிபி 1505 ஆம் ஆண்டு இலங்கையில் கரை தட்டியபோது இலங்கையில் மூன்று அரசுகள் வரையறை செய்யப்பட்ட எல்லைகளுக்குள் இருந்தன.

தெற்கே கோட்டையைத் தலைநகராகக் கொண்ட கோட்டை இராச்சியம்.

வடக்கே யாழ்ப்பாணத்தை தலைநகராகக் கொண்ட யாழ்ப்பாண இராச்சியம்.

மத்தியில் கண்டியைத் தலைநகராகக் கொண்ட கண்டி இராச்சியம்.

யாழ்ப்பாண இராச்சியம்  கிபி 1215 தொடக்கம் கிபி 1619 வரை யாழ்ப்பாண மன்னர்களால் தனிநாடாக ஆளப்பட்டது. அதன் எல்லைகள் புத்தளத்துக்கு வடக்கே மோதரகம் ஆறு முதலாக கிழக்கே பொத்துவிலுக்குத் தெற்கே கும்புக்கன் ஆறு வரை விரிந்திருந்தது

ஒல்லாந்தர்; இலங்கையின் கரையோரப் பகுதிகளை ஆறு மாவட்டங்களாகப் பிரித்து ஆட்சி செய்தனர். புத்தளத்துக்கு வடக்கே மோதரகம் ஆறு முதலாக பொத்துவிலுக்குத் தெற்கே கும்புக்கன் ஆறுவரை தமிழர் பகுதி எனப் பிரிக்கப்பட்டது. தமிழர்கள் வாழ்ந்த பகுதி யாழ்ப்பாணம் மாவட்டம் என அப்போது அழைக்கப்பட்டது.

இலங்கையில் போர்த்துக்கேயரது ஆட்சி 1656 வரை நீடித்தது. பின்னர் அவர்களிடம் இருந்து ஒல்லாந்தருக்குக் கைமாறியது. ஒல்லாந்தரிடம் இருந்து 1796 இல் ஆங்கிலேயர் கைக்கு மாறியது.

1815 இல் மத்தியில் ஆங்கிலேயர் கண்டி இராச்சியத்தின் மீது படையெடுத்து அதனை ஆண்டுகொண்டிருந்த ஸ்ரீவிக்கிரம இராசசிங்கனைக் கைது செய்து கொழும்புக்குக் கொண்டு வந்து அங்கிருந்து லேலூருக்கு அவனும் அவனது குடும்பமும் அனுப்பி வைக்கப்பட்டனர்.

1815 ஆம் ஆண்டு கண்டி உடன்படிக்கை மூலம் அந்த இராச்சியம் ஆங்கிலேயருக்குக் கையளிக்கப்பட்டது.

இலங்கையில் இருந்த மூன்று பகுதிகளையும் தனித்தனியாக ஆண்டு வந்த ஆங்கிலேயர் 1833 இல் நிருவாக வசதிக்காக மூன்று பகுதிகளையும் (அதாவது யாழ்ப்பாணம், கண்டி, மற்றும் கோட்டை) ஆகியவற்றை) ஒரே நிருவாகத்தின் கீழ் கொண்டு வந்தனர்.

1948 இல் இலங்கைக்கு ஆங்கிலேயர் சுதந்திரம் வழங்கிய போது செயற்கையாக அய்க்கியப்படுத்திய இலங்கைத் தீவைப் பெரும்பான்மை சிங்களவர்கள் கையில் கொடுத்துவிட்டு வெளியேறினார்கள்.

ஒன்றுபட்ட இலங்கையில் தங்களை முதலில் இலங்கையர் என்றும் பின்னர் தமிழர் என்றும் கருதிய தமிழர்கள் ஆங்கிலேயரிடம் தங்களது மூதாதையர் போர்முனையில் இழந்த அரசைப் பிரித்துத் தருமாறு கேட்கத் தவறிவிட்டனர்.

சேர் பொன். அருணாசலம், சேர் பொன். இராமநாதன் போன்றோர் சிங்களவர்களும் தமிழர்களும் இலங்கைத் தீவின் பூர்வீக தேசிய இனங்கள் (Founding Nations) என்றே நம்பினார்கள். தங்களைச் சிறுபான்மை இனம என அவர்கள் நினைக்கவில்லை. கடைசிக் காலத்தில்தான் சிங்களவர்கள் அனைத்து மக்களுக்கும் வாக்குரிமை என்ற திரைக்குப் பின்னால் அரசியல் அதிகாரம் முழுவதையும் தங்கள் கைக்குள் கொண்டுவரச் சதி செய்தார்கள் என்பதையும் தம்மை அவர்கள் ஏமாற்றிவிட்டார்கள் என்ற உண்மையையும் உணர்ந்து கொண்டார்கள்.

அண்டை நாடான இந்தியாவில் முஸ்லீம் லீக் தலைவர் மொகமது ஜின்னா மாட்டை வழிபடும் இந்துக்களும் மாட்டை அடித்துச் சாப்பிடும் முஸ்லிம்களும் ஒன்றாக வாழமுடியாது என பிரிட்டிஷ் ஆட்சியாளர்களோடு வாதாடி பாகிஸ்தான் என்ற தனி நாட்டைப் பிரித்து எடுத்துக் கொண்டாhர். “பிரிட்டிஷ்காரரே வெளியேறுங்கள் ஆனால் முதலில் இந்தியாவைப் பிரித்து விட்டு வெளியேறுங்கள்” என்று ஜின்னாவின் முழக்கத்தை தமிழ்த் தலைவர்கள் காதில் போட மறுத்துவிட்டார்கள்.

சோல்பெரி ஆணைக்குழு முன் தோன்றி 50 க்கு 50 க்கு வாதாடிய ஜி.ஜி. பொன்னம்பலத்தின் கோரிக்கை நிராகரிக்கப்பட்டது. அதற்குப் பதில் சிறுபான்மை இனத்தவர்களது நலன்களைப் பாதுகாக்க சோல்பெரி யாப்பில் விதி 29 சேர்க்கப்பட்டது.

இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் பெற்ற அதே ஆண்டில் குடியுரிமைச் சட்டத்தை டி.எஸ். சேனநாயக்கா நிறைவேற்றினார். அதற்கு இரண்டு காரணங்கள் இருந்தன.

1947 இல் நடந்த தேர்தலில் மலையக மக்கள் 7 தொகுதிகளில் வென்றிருந்தார்கள். இதனை சிங்கள இனவாதியான டி.எஸ். சேனநாயக்காவால் செரிக்க முடியவில்லை. இரண்டாவதாக மலையக மக்களின் வாக்குப் பலத்தால் மேலும் 20 தொகுதிகளில் இடதுசாரிக் கட்சிகள் வெற்றிபெற்றிருந்ததை சேனநாயக்கா தனது அரசியல் இருப்புக்கு அவர்கள் அச்சுறுத்தலாக இருக்கிறார்கள் என நினைத்தார்.

1952 இல் நடந்த தேர்தலில் வாக்குரிமை பிடுங்கப்பட்ட மலையக மக்களால் ஒருவரைக் கூட நாடாளுமன்றத்துக்கு அனுப்ப முடியாது போய்விட்டது. அறுபதுகளில் சிறிமா – சாத்திரி உடன்பாட்டின் கீழ் 525,000 மலையக மக்கள் இந்தியாவுக்கு நாடு கடத்தப் பட்டார்கள். இதனால் சிங்களவர்களது எண்ணிக்கை அதிகரிக்கவும் தமிழர் எண்ணிக்கை குறையவும் ஏதுவாயிற்று.

சுதந்திரத்துக்குப் பின்னர் நாடாளுமன்றப் பிரதிநித்துவம் எப்படிச் சிங்களவர்களுக்கு சாதகமாகவும் தமிழர்களுக்கு பாதகமாகவும் மாறியதை கீழேயுள்ள அட்டவணை காட்டுகிறது.

                                                    இலங்கை நாடாளுமன்றத்தில் இனவாரியான பிரதிநித்துவம் 1947-1977

ஆண்டு

1947

1952 1956 1960 1965 1970

1977

மொத்த இருக்கைகள்

95 + 6

95 + 6 95 + 6 151; 151 151

168

சிங்களவர்

68

75 76 122 123 124

136

தமிழர்

20

12 18 18 18 18

19

முஸ்லிம்கள்

7

          8 7 11 10 9

12

 முஸ்லிம்கள் மொத்தம்

27

20 19 29 28 27

32

 

எதிர்பார்த்த பிரதிநித்துவம் 1947

 

சிங்களவர் இ.தமிழர் இந்தியத் தமிழர் முஸ்லிம்கள்
 சோல்பரி திட்டத்தின் கீழ் 58 15 14 8
தொகுதி நிருணய ஆணைக்குழு எதிர்கூறல் 58 15 14 8

இலங்கை சுதந்திரம் பெறு முன்னரே சட்ட அவையில் காணி, வேளாண்மை அமைச்சராக இருந்த டி.எஸ். சேனநாயக்கா கிழக்கில் காணி மேம்பாடு என்ற போர்வையில் பாரிய சிங்களக் குடியேற்றத் திட்டங்களைத் தொடக்கி அவற்றில் தென்னிலங்கையில் வாழ்ந்த சிங்களக் குடும்பங்களை ஆயிரக்கணக்கில் குடியேற்றினார்.

1948 இல் டி.எஸ்.சேனநாயக்கா தனது மகன் டட்லி சேனநாயக்காவை காணி, அமைச்சராக நியமித்து அந்த சிங்களக் குடியேற்றங்கள் தொடர்ந்து நடைபெற வழிகோலினார்.

கிழக்கில் 1949 இல் கல்லோயா (பட்டிப்பளை) பள்ளத்தாக்கு திட்டத்தின் கீழ் 120,000 ஏக்கர் நிலம் கல்லோயா மேம்பாட்டு அவையின் கீழ் கொண்டுவரப்பட்டு 40 கொலனிகளில் 20,000 சிங்களவர்கள் முதற்கட்டமாகக் குடியேற்றப்பட்டன. இந்தக் குடியேற்றத்தின் விளைவாக 1963 ஆம் ஆண்டு அம்பாரை மாவட்டம் என்ற புதிய மாவட்டம் மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்டத்தில் இருந்து பிரித்து எடுக்கப்பட்டது. 1960 இல் அம்பாரை (டிகமடுல்ல) என்ற புதிய தொகுதி சிங்களவர்களுக்கு உருவாக்கப்பட்டது. திருகோணமலை மாவட்டத்தில் சிங்கள பெரும்பான்மை சேருவெல தொகுதி 1976 இல் உருவாக்கப்பட்டது.

1961 ஆம் ஆண்டு உருவாக்கப்பட்ட அம்பாறை மாவட்டத்தின் நிலப்பரப்பு 4,431 ச.கிமீ  (1,775 ச.மைல்) ஆகும்.   1963 ஆம் ஆண்டில் முஸ்லிம்கள் 44 விழுக்காடாகவும், சிங்களவர்கள் 29.3 விழுக்காடாகவும், தமிழர் 25.20 விழுக்காடாகவும் காணப்பட்டனர். ஆனால் 2007 ஆம் ஆண்டு சிங்களவர்கள் 37.50 விழுக்காடாக உயர்வடைந்திருக்கின்றனர். அதேவேளை, தமிழர்கள் 18.3 விழுக்காடாக வீழ்ச்சியடைந்துள்ளனர்.    முஸ்லிம்களின் விழுக்காட்டில் மாற்றம் இல்லை.

அம்பாரை மாவட்டம் குடிப்பரம்பல் 1963 – 2007

 

ஆண்டு சிங்களவர் தமிழர் முஸ்லிம் ஏனையோர் மொத்தம்
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
1963 61,996 29.28 49,185 23.85 97,621 46.11 1,618 0.76 211,732 100
1971 82,280 30.18 60,519 22.85 126,365 46.35 1,670 0.61 272,605 100
1981 146,943 37.78 77,826 20.37 161,568 41.54 1,222 0.31 388,970 100
2001 236,583 39.90 109,188 18.53 244,620 41.25 1,891 0.32 592,997 100
2007 மதிப்பீடு 228,938 37.49 111,948 18.34 268,630 43.99 1,145 0.19 610,719 100
மூலம்: மக்கள் கணிப்பு திணைக்களம்

எண்பதுகளில் ஸ்ரீலங்கா அரசு மேற்கொண்ட மதுர ஒயா சிங்களக் குடியேற்றத் திட்டத்தினால் மேலும் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான சிங்களவர்கள் மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்டத்தின் குடியேற்றப்பட்டார்கள்.

இதே போல் திருகோணமலை மாவட்டத்தில் அல்லை – கந்தளாய் என்ற பாரிய குடியேற்றம் அய்ம்பதுகளில் தொடக்கப்பட்டன. இதனைத் தொடர்ந்து முதலிக்குளம் ( மொறவேவா) பதவிக்குளம் பெரியவிளாங்குளம் போன்ற சிங்களக் குடியேற்றங்கள் முடுக்கிவிடப்பட்டன.

இந்தத் திட்டமிட்ட சிங்களக் குடியேற்றங்களால் கிழக்கு மாகாணத்தின் இனவாரியான மக்கள்தொகை விழுக்காடு மாறத் தொடங்கியது. கீழே கொடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ள அட்டவணை 1827-1981 இடையில் ஏற்பட்ட மாற்றத்தைச் சுட்டிக் காட்டுகிறது.

கிழக்கு மாகாணத்தில் ஏற்பட்ட இனவாரியான மாற்றங்கள் (1827-1981)

  சிங்களவர் தமிழர் முஸ்லிம்கள்
ஆண்டு மொத்தம் தொகை விழுக்காடு தொகை விழுக்காடு தொகை விழுக்காடு
1827 46,641 250 1.30 34758 75.65 11533 23.56
1881 1,27,555 5947 4.50 75408 61.35 43001 30.65
1891 1,48,444 7512 4.75 87701 61.55 51206 30.75
1901 1,73,602 8778 4.70 96296 57.50 62448 33.15
1911 7,83,698 6909 3.75 101181 56.20 70409 36.0
1921 1,92,821 8744 4.50 103551 53.50 75992 39.4
1946 2,79,112 23456 8.40 146059 52.30 109024 39.1
1953 3,54,410 46470 13.10 167898 47.30 135322 38.1
1963 5,46,130 109690 20.10 246120 45.10 185750 34.0
1971 7,17,571 148572 20.70 315560 43.90 248567 34.6
1981 9,76,479 243358 24.90 409451 41.90 315201 32.2
1827-1981
அதிகரிப்பு 
243108 97243.20 374693 1078.01 303668 2133.04

தென்மாகாணத்தைப் போலவே வடக்கில் மணலாறு (வெலி ஓயா) குடியேற்றத்திட்டம் எண்பதுகளில் துரித மகாவலி மேம்பாட்டுத் திட்டத்தின் கீழ் காணி மேப்பாட்டு அமைச்சர் காமினி திசநாயக்காவால் முடுக்கி விடப்பட்டது. நாற்பத்தெட்டு மணி நேர அவகாசத்தில் ஆயிரண்கணக்கான தமிழ்க் குடும்பங்கள் அவர்களது பூர்வீக கிராமங்களில் இருந்து சிங்களப் படையால் வலோத்காரமாக வெளியேற்றப்பட்டனர்.
இன்று மகிந்த இராசபக்சே ஆட்சியில் வட – கிழக்கு மாகாணங்கள் இராணுவ மயப்படுத்துவதோடு துரிதகதியில் சிங்கள – பவுத்த மயமாக்கப்பட்டும் வருகிறது. (2010)


Sinhalese have Cause to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Gal Oya Colonization Scheme

By  V.Thangavelu

There is no doubt President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sinhalese dominated government has cause for celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Gal Oya scheme which could easily be described as the single most ‘accomplishment’ of the successive Sinhalese governments since independence in 1948.

Not withstanding the fact as to which party was in the seat of power, the state sponsored colonization of the Tamil traditional homeland had gone on with a religious fervor and commitment unparalleled in the annals of the country’s history. This was evident during the Golden Jubilee celebrations when both Anurudda Ratwatte, Minister for Irrigation and Power and Deputy Minister of Defense and Ranil Wickramasinghe, Leader of the opposition United National Party standing at the opposite poles of the political spectrum sharing the same platform at Amparai.

  1. Gal Oya Colonization Scheme

Gal Oya (originally called Paddippalai Aru in Tamil) is only one among several state-sponsored colonization schemes launched by Don Stephen Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon. He for all intents and purposes was the master-mind responsible for opening the flood-gates of Sinhalese colonization in traditional Tamil homelands. There were numerous others like the Allai –Kantalai and Yan Oya colonization schemes in the Trincomalee district, Maduru Oya in the Batticaloa district and Weli Oya (Manal Aru) in the Mullaitivu district. These state-aided and funded Sinhalese colonization had transformed the demographic composition of the North and Eastern provinces drastically. Although it was claimed that these schemes were meant to provide lands to landless Sinhalese peasants in the South, not a single Hill Country Tamil was given any land in the North and East at any time.

Before the ink could dry on the Independence Act conferring Dominion Status to Ceylon, D.S. Senanayake like a venomous and insatiate snake after its prey introduced and passed into law the Ceylon Citizenship Act No.18 of 1948 which rendered a million Tamils of Indian origin stateless. In 1949 by the enactment of Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Amendment Act No.48, which was an amendment to the 1946 Orders in Council on franchise, the Hill country Tamils who returned 7 Members to Parliament at the general elections held in 1947 were rendered both stateless and voteless. Consequently the electoral strength of the Tamils in the subsequent Parliaments was reduced to almost half to 11.92% from 21.66% as at the time of independence. On the other hand Sinhalese representation in Parliament rose from 71.60% in 1948 to 80.78% in 1959.

In the same year the government under D.S. Senanayake enacted Act No.51 under which the Gal Oya Development Board was established. It was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake on August 28, 1949 at Ingniyakala. A dam was built at Ingniyakala to divert the Gal Oya river waters. This water reservoir was appropriately named Senanayake Samudra – the biggest man-made tank in the whole of Ceylon. Gal Oya Development Board spent a staggering US67.2 million dollars to build the infrastructure and settle the colonists.

Gal Oya scheme covered 120,000 acres and a total of 40 colonies were established each consisting of 150 families. A single family was given 3 acres of paddy land and 2 acres of highland with a dwelling house. In the first phase of the scheme 20,000 Sinhalese were settled in these colonies. Although 6 colonies were allocated to Tamils, they were driven out during the communal riots that broke out on June 5, 1956. Several Tamils were killed or maimed by marauding Sinhalese thugs. Those Tamils who returned to their homes were again attacked during the 1958 racial riots. Today the allotments in these 6 colonies are occupied by the Sinhalese.

In 1990 twenty-nine Tamils living in Lagugala, near Poththuvil were killed and their houses destroyed by the Sinhalese. Another 314 Tamil families were driven out of Lagugala and they are now refugees living in the adjoining Tamil villages of Alaiyadivembu, Karativu, Vinayakapuram etc. The 1,200 acres of cultivable land belonging to the Tamils had been taken over by the Sinhalese with the help of the army.

By 1960 an entirely new electorate called Amparai (now called Digamadulla) was carved out for the Sinhalese colonists on the recommendation of the De-limitation Commission appointed in 1959.

On 10th January 1961 the government created a new administrative district called Amparai out of the then existing Batticaloa district which sharply increased the tempo of Sinhalese colonization.

The Sinhalese population in the undivided Batticaloa district in 1911 was only 4702. In 1921 it was 7, 243. But after the Gal Oya scheme was launched the Sinhalese population began to rise by leaps and bounds as the following Table shows.

Table 1: Changes in Ethnic composition of Amparai District (1911-1981)

 

Sinhalese

Tamils

Muslims

Year

Total % Total % Total

%

1911

4702 7.90 24733 37.00 36843

37.00

1921

7285 25207 37901

1946

26450 39985 29.00 69376

51.00

1963

62160 28.00 49230 23.50 97990 46.60

1971

82280 30.00 80613 22.00 126365

47.00

1981

146371 38.01 78315 20.00 126365

47.00

1911-1981
Increase

141669

3012.00 53582 216.00 124638

339.00

  1. Sinhalese Colonization of Trincomalee District

In the Trincomalee district under Allai colonization scheme 65% of the allotments was given to Sinhalese and 35% to Muslims. Under Kantalai colonization scheme the intake was 77% Sinhalese and 23% Tamil speaking. Under Morawewa (Muthalikkulam) scheme –though initially allotments were made on a proportionate basis, subsequent violence directed against Tamil settlers on a regular basis by the Sinhalese forced the Tamils to evacuate. Today it is a 100% Sinhalese colony.

In 1972 Nochchikulam was re-named Nochiyagama and Sinhalese were settled down in 5,000 acres of land forcibly acquired from Tamils living in Kappalthurai and Paalampoddaru. The brain behind this scheme was no other than K.B. Ratnayake, M.P. and the then SLFP Organizer for Anuradhapura District. In 1973 during Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s rule a total of 10,738 Sinhalese families were illegally settled in the Trincomalee District.

Sinhalese colonists were planted all along the Tamil coastal villages like Kuchchaveli, Pulmoddai, Kumburuppiddi, Thiriyai, Thennamaravadi etc. For example in 1983 hundreds of Sinhalese illegally encroached and occupied the land adjoining Pulmoddai Agricultural Development Society. On December 2, 1984 these Sinhalese colonists attacked Thennamaravadi village situated North of Pulmoddai, and burnt 165 houses and 7 shops belonging to the Tamils. This resulted in the displacement of 749 Tamils constituting 147 families who were forced to irk out existence as refugees in adjoining villages.

During the sixties and seventies many Sinhalese villages sprouted in and around Trincomalee town. Srimapura, Abayapura, Mihintapura, Pattispura were some of the Sinhalese villages thus created often after driving the Tamils away. In 1984 Tamils living in China Bay and Kavathikuda were uprooted and Sinhalese took their places with the help of the armed forces.

In October, 1998 132 Tamil families living in Linga- Nagar, a village 1 ½ miles from Trincomalee town, were forcibly ejected by the army on the pretext of expanding the nearby Sinhalese army camp. Earlier in September 1996, 47 Tamil families were forced out for establishing the original camp.

Until the early 1980s areas targeted for Sinhalese colonization was confined to Tamil areas of mixed ethnic communities. This policy was subsequently ditched for obvious reasons and Sinhalese colonies came to be established in areas exclusively inhabited by the Tamils. This no doubt is ethnic cleansing of the Tamils in their land of birth with a vengeance by a Sinhala-Buddhist government bent on enforcing Sinhalese hegemony.

Trincomalee District has not seen a Tamil Government Agent since independence in 1948. District Land Officers posts are also filled by Sinhalese to ensure smooth implementation and accelerated colonization without any cliches. The following Table 2 shows the dramatic increase in the Sinhalese population over the years.

Table 2: Changes in Ethnic composition of Trincomalee District (1827-1981)

 

Sinhalese

Tamils

Muslims

Year

Total % Total % Total %

1827

   250 1.3 15663 81.80   3245

16.90

1881

935 4.2 14394 64.8 5746 25.9

1891

1109 4.3 17117 66.4 6426 25.0

1901

1203 4.2 17069 60.0 8258

29.0

1911

1138 3.8 17233 57.9 9714

32.6

1921

1501 4.4 18586 54.5 12846

37.7

1946

11606 15.3 33795 44.5 23219

30.6

1953

15296 18.2 37517 44.7 28616

34.1

1963

40950 29.6 54050 39.1 42560

30.8

1971

54744 29.1 71749 38.1 59924

31.8

1981

86341 33.6 93510 36.4 74403

29.0

1827-1981
Increase

           86091

344.36 497.01

2192.85

Source: Census data on Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for the period 1881-1981

Area of Trincomalee District– 2618.2 sq. kms

In 1881 the Sinhalese population was a mere 4.2%, but it increased to a staggering 33.6% in 1981 and constituted one- third of the total population of the Trincomalee District.

The graphic demographic changes for the Eastern Province as a whole between 1881-2012 are shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Changes in the Ethnic composition of Eastern Province (1827-2012)

Year Tamil Muslim Sinhalese Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1881 Census 75,318 58.96% 43,001 33.66% 5,947 4.66% 3,489 2.73% 127,755
1891 Census 86,701 58.41% 51,206 34.50% 7,508 5.06% 3,029 2.04% 148,444
1901 Census 96,917 55.83% 62,448 35.97% 8,778 5.06% 5,459 3.14% 173,602
1911 Census 101,181 55.08% 70,395 38.32% 6,909 3.76% 5,213 2.84% 183,698
1921 Census 103,245 53.54% 75,992 39.41% 8,744 4.53% 4,840 2.51% 192,821
1946 Census 136,059 48.75% 109,024 39.06% 23,456 8.40% 10,573 3.79% 279,112
1953 Census 167,898 47.37% 135,322 38.18% 46,470 13.11% 4,720 1.33% 354,410
1963 Census 246,059 45.03% 184,434 33.75% 108,636 19.88% 7,345 1.34% 546,474
1971 Census 315,566 43.98% 247,178 34.45% 148,572 20.70% 6,255 0.87% 717,571
1981 Census 410,156 42.06% 315,436 32.34% 243,701 24.99% 5,988 0.61% 975,251
2001 Census[c] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2007 Enumeration 590,132 40.39% 549,857 37.64% 316,101 21.64% 4,849 0.33% 1,460,939
2012 Census 617,295 39.79% 569,738 36.72% 359,136 23.15% 5,212 0.34% 1,551,381

There has been no population census since 1981, but one is scheduled for 2011. The full impact of the sustained Sinhalese colonization in the Eastern province under war conditions and army terror will be revealed after this census is completed.

  1. Colonization of Vavuniya District

In Vavuniya District because of the influx of Sinhalese under the Padavia (Paavatkulam) colonization scheme, the government created a new Sinhalese AGA’s division called Vavunia South by bifurcating the existing Vavuniya South into two. In this new division there is a village called Ambalangodalla peopled entirely by Sinhalese from Ambalangoda in the South.

According to the 1881 census there were only 1,157 Sinhalese compared to 13,164 Tamils in the Vavunia District. But according to the 1981 census there were 15,794 Sinhalese as against 54,179 Tamils.

The following Table 4 shows the overall demographic composition of the Vavunia District (since divided into Vavunia and Mullaitivu Districts).

Table 4: Changes in Ethnic composition of Vavunia District (1827-1981)

Sinhalese Tamils Muslims

Year

Total

% Total % Total

%

 1827*

517

5.70 8011 94.30

1881

1157

7.40 13164 84.60 1138

7.30

1891

1188 7.70 13030 84.10 1139

7.30

1901

1128 7.40 12726 84.00 1069

7.10

1911

1848 10.70 14069 81.10 1241

7.10

1921

2215 11.80 14978 80.10 1345

7.20

1946

3870 16.60 17071 73.40 2158

9.30

1953

5920 16.90 25881 73.70 3020

8.60

1963

12030 17.50 51410 75.10 4900

7.20

1971

15981 16.70 72259 75.90 6641

7.00

    1981**

15878 16.60 73133 76.30 6640

6.90

1827-1981
Increase

14719 210.29 65122 812.90 5502

483.47

*Includes part of Mannar.

** Now divided into Vavuniya and Mullaitivu Districts.

Thus while the Tamil population increased by only 383% the Sinhalese population increased by 1272% between 1881-1981!

The Paavatkulam Colonization Scheme was introduced in Vavunia District in 1956. At the beginning 595 Tamil families and 453 Sinhalese families were settled under this scheme. However, the Tamil families were later chased away and it is now a 100% Sinhalese colony.

In the early eighties the Gandhiyam Movement re-settled about 85,000 Tamils from the Hill country who were victims of racial violence directed against them by the Sinhalese during 1977, 1979 and 1981. But the government of J.R.Jayawardena used the Sinhala army to remove the Tamil settlers by force in 1982 using emergency powers.

  1. New Sinhalese Electorates Carved Out

In Trincomalee out of 11 AGAs divisions the Sinhalese are in the majority in 7 of them i.e. Tampalagamam, Trincomalee Town and its suburbs, Sripura, Gomarankadawela (Gomarankadavai), Morawewa (Muthalikkulam), Kantalai and Seruwila.

The De-limitation Commission carved out Seruwila as a new electoral division in 1976 and a Sinhalese was duly returned to Parliament in the general elections held in 1977. Seruwila electorate occupies three-fifth of the total land area of Trincomalee District.

In Amparai (now shortened to Ampara) District, out of 16 AGAs divisions, the Sinhalese are in a majority in 8 of them viz Amparai Town, Tamana, Namla Oya, Ukana, Dehimathakandiya, Lagugala, Maha Oya and Pathimathalana. Out of a total area of 4,318 sq. kms; 3,391 sq. kms belonged to Sinhalese AGAs divisions. That is 78% of the land area had become Sinhalese majority areas in the Amparai District.

In 1977 two Sinhalese members were returned to Parliament from Digamadulla in the Amparai District and Seruwila in the Trincomalee District respectively. The number of Sinhalese M.PP from the Eastern province dramatically increased to five in 1989, four from Amparai District and one from Trincomalee District. The same number of Sinhalese M.PP was returned to Parliament in the 1994 general elections.

  1. Weli Oya (Manal Aru) Sinhalese Colonization

On 16th April, 1988 by an extra ordinary gazette notification Manal Aru area in the Mullaitivu District was re-named Weli Oya ( Proclaimed the 26th District of Sri Lanka) and included in the Rapid Mahaweli Development Scheme. A total of 13,288 Tamil families living in 42 villages, including Kent and Dollar farms and 12 others each 1000 acres in extent held on 99 years lease by Tamil business concerns., were dispossessed of their lands under the same gazette notification. The Sinhalese army gave 48 hours notice to the Tamil villagers to vacate their homes or face eviction by force. In fact colonization of Manal Aru commenced as early as 1984 and the Sinhalese army’s presence in the area dates back from the same year.

The Sinhalese army did use force as promised and scores of Tamil villagers, some of them Hill country Tamil refugees victims of earlier Sinhalese violence in 1983, were murdered and the rest fled in terror. In one night alone 29 Tamil villagers were murdered at Othiyamalai, a hamlet furthermost from the Weli Oya colony.

The master-minds and the driving force behind the Weli Oya Sinhalese colonization were Messrs. Gamini Dissanayake, Minister for Mahaweli Development, Lalith Athulathmudali, Minister of National Defence, Cyril Mathew, Minister of Industries and Scientific Affairs and N.G.P. Panditaratne, Chairman Mahaweli Development Board. These ‘gang of four’ openly advocated the colonization of the North and East in general and Weli Oya in particular by Sinhalese after driving the Tamils out using military force.

From there on Sinhala colonization was put on a war-footing and between 1988-89, 3 364 families, most of them ex-convicts brought straight from prisons, were settled in Weli Oya. A further 35,000 persons comprising 5, 925 families were also settled under the same scheme. It is in recognition of the ‘yeoman services’ rendered by the top elite of the Sinhala army, especially that of Major General Janaka Perera, the Tamil village of Thannimurippu was re-named Janakapura.

Right now the Sri Lankan government has deployed around 25,000 Sinhalese soldiers and para-military personnel (Home Guards) to defend the strategic settlement complex, the so-called “border villages” of Weli Oya. As stated above the complex has driven a wedge between the Northern and Eastern provinces.

According to Brigadier Hiran Halangoda “Weli Oya is very important militarily. Our presence will not allow the North-East merger. Terrorists cannot win Eelam as long as we stay here. If we go, there will be a threat to Padavia, Kebitigollewa and eventually Anuradhapura.” (Sunday Observer22 February, 1998). Of course the brigadier knows better.

Following troops on the eastern axis of “Operation Jayasikurui” (Sure of Victory) launching military offensive from Gajabapura-Padaviya camps in Weli Oya in May, 1998, access south of Nedunkerni is now blocked by a bunker line from Gajabapura to Nedunkerni and Olumadu. The army Forward Defense Lines (FDLs) now extends from Nedunkerni in the West to Kokkulai in the East. and Olumadu in the South

Writing in the Sunday Times (26th August, 1990) Mahaweli Development Ministry Official, Herman Gunaratne literally let the cat out of the bag when he confessed, inter-alia, thus-

“All wars are fought for land…The plan for settlement of people in Yan Oya  and Malwathu Oya basins were worked out before the communal riots of 1983.

Indeed the keenest minds in the Mahaweli, some of whom are holding top  international positions were the architects of this plan. My role was that of an executor…

We conceived and implemented a plan which we thought would secure the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka for a long time. We moved a large group of  45,000 land hungry (Sinhala) peasants into the Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa Districts of Maduru Oya delta. The second step was to make a similar human settlement in the Yan Oya basin. The third step was going to be a settlement of a number of people, opposed to Eelam, on the banks of the Malwathu Oya.

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…Yan Oya if settled by non-separatists (Sinhala people) would have increased the population by about another 50,000. It would completely secure Trincomalee from the rebels…”

As rightly pointed out by the writer this war is indeed a battle for the land. That is precisely the reason why Yaalpanam was re-named Yapapatuna and the Lion flag was ceremoniously hoisted when the army captured Jaffna in 1995. Similarly Poovarasankulam on the Vavuniya –Mannar road was re-named Sapumalpura and the Lion flag hoisted when the army captured it following operation Edibala in February 1997. The Lion flag was again hoisted at Mankulam in the same year when the ghost town was occupied by the army to buttress Sinhalese hegemonic rule over the Tamils and their territory.

In a statement from London, where she was on a private visit, President Chandrika Kumaratunga congratulating the ‘valiant soldiers’ who captured Mankulam. The statement said:

“I was very happy to learn that our valiant soldiers have captured Mankulam, the last stronghold of the LTTE terrorists. I wish to share the joy of this historic victory with the fellow countrymen and brave soldiers who are now jubilant over the achievement.” (Reuters – Colombo October 4, 1997)

Not to be left out the Deputy Minister of Defence Anurudda Ratwatte crowed “Your motherland salutes you. You have not sacrificed your lives in vain.”

Now nine years later, the quest to “completely secure Trincomalee from the rebels” proceeds unabated. Newspaper reports from Trincomalee confirm the fact that Sinhalese continue to settle illegally on private lands owned by the Tamils as well as on lands belonging to several Hindu temples helped invariably by the armed forces.

Even the Tamil groups in Colombo which are running with the hare (the Tamils) and hunting with the dogs (the Sinhalese government) referring to the settlement of Sinhalese in the eastern part of Trincomalee described it as an “attempt to artificially change the demographic composition of the District.”

According to the Secretary General of the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Mr. Suresh Premachandran, the decision was taken by representatives of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Tamil Eelam iberation Organisation (TELO), at a meeting here on Sunday.

In a statement, Mr. Premachandran said the parties were of the opinion that “instead of resettling displaced Tamils”, numbering thousands, from the Trincomalee District due to the civil war, “the Government is engaged in massive State-aided colonisation of these areas by Sinhala settlers.” Condemning what they termed “blatant attempts to artificially change the demographic composition of the District,” the parties demanded that the Government “immediately dismantle all the illegal Sinhala colonies in and around Linga Nagar and Trincomalee District.”

A look at the past history of systematic colonization of Tamil traditional homelands by Sinhalese at state expense reveals the sorry spectacle that it was done while Tamils served as ministers in the cabinet and Tamil political parties extended support from inside or outside parliament to the government in power.

  1. Land Grab by Sinhalese army in the Jaffna District

Presently after lying low for a while to lull the Tamils into complacency, a time tested tactic, the government has once again pulled the rug under their feet by giving the green light to the acquisition of 261.8 hectares of land at Palaly for the armed forces.

An earlier attempt to acquire the land in March this year was suspended by President Chandrika Kumaratunga after Tamil parties protested against the move. However, the Gazette Extraordinary of June 8, 1999 which was released to subscribers only on August 28, 1999 states that 397 allotments of land measuring 261.8 hectares will be acquired under section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act. The proposal made by the then acting Land and Agriculture Minister Salinda Dissanayake adds that the land is needed for a public purpose.

The Government has formal plans to acquire private land in Valigamam North to settle families of soldiers stationed in the North. Ironically Tamil families from Valigamam North are still forbidden by the authorities to return and resettle in their homes for “security reasons.”

The upshot of the proposed land grab involves the take over two historical Temples sacred to Hindu Tamils. The temples are Maviddapuram Kanthaswamy Kovil and Keerimalai Nakuleswaram temple; the latter was in existence even before the arrival of the legendary Vijaya and his men in BC 543.

While Buddhist places of worship in Tamil areas involving several hundred acres are declared as Sacred Cities (Example Thiriyai in Trincomalee District) by the Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lankan government, the same government converts hallowed Hindu Temples of antiquity into military camps.

Thirukketheesvaram in Mannar District and Koneswaram in Trincomalee District – both these temples immortalized by Saint Gnanasampanthar and Saint Thirunavukkarasar (7th century AD) in their sacred hymns remain occupied by the Sinhalese armed forces.

Even after the capture of Jaffna peninsula in 1996, the army has maintained an extensive buffer zone between the base and civilian settlements. No civilians are allowed into the two-kilometre zone without strict security checks. The whole base is regarded as a high security zone due to the airfield. None of the buildings that are located inside the buffer zone have been allowed to be reclaimed by their owners and no civilians are allowed to settle in the zone.

While Buddhist places of worship in Tamil areas involving several hundred acres are declared as Sacred Cities (Example Thiriyai in Trincomalee District) by the Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lankan government, the same government converts Hindu Temples of antiquity into military camps with impunity. Thirukketheeswaram Temple in Mannar District and Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee District, both these Holy Isvarams immortalized by Saint Gnanasampanthar and Saint Thirunavukkarasar (7th century AD) in their sacred hymns, remain occupied by the Sinhala armed forces since 1990.

At Thirukketheeswaram there are no poojas or other religious rites performed as the priests, their assistants and other workers of the temple have been forced to flee the area by the Sinhalese army. There are no people now within about a radius of 3 miles from the temple. As for Koneswaram an army garrison is stationed at the foot of the hill since 1958 and a priest performs pooja only once a week as against the required six poojas daily. The wanton damage and desecration done by the Sri Lankan Sinhala-Buddhist government is no different from what the Portuguese did to the temples in the 16th century!

Tamils in the Eastern province have lost two-third of their land mass to Sinhalese and reduced to a numerical minority from 75.65% in 1827 to 41.90 % in 1981. More importantly the geographical contiguity of North and East has been severed. This was a deliberate strategical move to weaken the demand for a permanent merger of the North and East that will constitute a single politico-economic entity.

Finally while the Sinhalese government and politicians of all hues have cause to celebrate the golden jubilee with pomp and splendor, the Tamils find they have been pushed to the wall. Today the systematic and planned state aided Sinhalese colonization of Tamil traditional homelands during the last 50 years or more has cast a long shadow as to pose a threat to the very existence of the Tamil people as a Nation. (Concluded)

Sinhalisation of East: A reply to Minister Champika Ranawaka

by M. I. M. MohideenThe ‘nava pancha bala vegaya‘ has been striving very hard to alter the Eastern demography. It has backing right at the top and involves sections of the Buddhist clergy, security forces, bureaucrats, businessman and politicians.Facts and figures about population growth will help to illustrate how demography patterns have been unnaturally altered or distorted through state aided colonisation, demarcation of new political and administrative units and accelerated irrigation schemes in the Eastern Province .The Batticaloa District was divided into the present Ampara District 1,775 sq. miles and Batticaloa District 1,048 sq. miles in 1961. Details of the 1981 population in the Eastern Province .Population Increase between 1949 and 1981 State aided Sinhala Colonizations. The Minorities have been denied their legitimate share of Developed State Land .3. Substantial alteration in the Ethnic composition of the Districts in which State Land have been alienated. When the Gal Oya Development Scheme was inaugurated, the late Hon. D. S. Senanayake stated that at least 50% of the new lands that were to become cultivatable under the Gal Oya Development Scheme would be distributed on a 50 – 50 basis between the local citizens of the Batticaloa district and the would be colonists from outside.Muslim Lands forcibly colonised with the Sinhalese in Ampara District.

The land take over from the Muslims proved a dismal failure for sugar cultivation. Later the Government settled Sinhalese brought from the South instead of giving the land back to the Muslims who had developed these lands on LDO Permits.Muslim lands forcibly colonised with the Sinhalese in Trincomalee District.

The Battukachchi area which is presently called Akbarpura was the pasture land of the people of the area. Here also they chased the Muslims and colonised with Sinhalese. Even now there is a Mosque and a Muslim school, When the Kantalai Sugar Corporation was established in 1958, more Sinhalese came in and occupied the land along Alakantalai Road , depriving the lands of the Muslims. Kantalai, Pottanaikadu, Peraru are few of the purana villages of the Muslims and Tamils which are now being occupied by the Sinhalese.The land available between Kinniya-Thampalakamam Road and Alaikanthalai Road was originally reserved for the village expansion of Kinniya, Kurunjankerney Alankerney and Thampalakamarn. When the Tobacco Corporation came in at a place called Chondankadu area, closer to Mudalaimadu, the employees of the Corporation started encroaching these areas.Muslim lands forcibly taken over in the name of Buddhist religion and culture.

In 1968 the government appointed a committee headed by Mr. Ratnethunge, the former Surveyor General, to investigate and submit a report. A number of Buddhist organisations made representations and finally the Committee recommended the take over of 500 acres around the Chaitiya. It was agreed that no more land would be taken. Quite contrary to this promise by the Sinhala Buddhists, there was a sudden move to acquire another 1,000 acres of paddy land belonging to the Muslims. The Government, without any regard for Law and Order sent in bulldozers destroying the paddy cultivation in the Periyavisaraikandam owned by the Muslims on Crown Grant Title Deeds. (The Island – Decmber 27, 2007)


(Continued from yesterday)

Ampara district is 1,775 square miles in extent. According to the census of 1981, the Sinhalese who were 37.2% are eligible for 660 square miles. But they have 76% or 1,340 square miles in the predominantly Sinhalese areas. Muslims (41.6%) are eligible for 728 square miles. But the Muslims have only 263 square miles which is only 15% of the land in Ampara district.The extent of land available for the 42% Muslims in Ampara district is only 264 sq. miles only 14%, whereas the extent of the land available in the Sinhalese area for the 37% Sinhalese is 1,340 sq. miles in 76%. According to the 1981 census, there is already a shortfall of 465 sq. miles of land for the Muslims and an excess of 680 sq. miles for the Sinhalese in the Ampara district.

See Tabel 2

Under the Accelerated Mahaweli Programme, the land area coming under the Eastern Province is 15 9,000 acres or 44,312 allotments. More than 100,000 Sinhalese will be settled soon according to the new agenda. When the operation commenced in the proposed Heda Oya Scheme in Pottuvil, Ampara District, the demography of the East will be changed to 55% Sinhalese.

Allocation of land areas in the demarcation of electoral and administrative units

The 1976 Delimitation Commission demarcated the Seruvila Electorate for the Sinhalese covering 700 sq. miles out of the 1048 sq. miles for the 24% Sinhalese in Trincomalee District. The land area for the 76% Tamils and Muslims was the balance 348 acres.Former Muslim majority Panamapattu DRO Division, 472 sq. miles, population 26,916. When redemarcating the new administrative divisions, 19,831 – 74% Muslim majority Pottuvil AGA Division was given only 22% – 103.9 sq. miles and the balance 78% – 368.2 sq. miles land area was allocated for the 7,085 – 26% Sinhala majority Lahugala AGA division.When comparing the land area of Sinhala majority Lahugala AGA division with the Muslim majority Kalmunai AGA division, the Sinhalese are having 208 times more than the land area of the Muslims. When comparing the land areas for the Sinhalese with the land area for the Muslims in the Muslim majority Ampara district, the Sinhalese land area is 13 times more.

Master plan

There is an integrated development master plan for Trincomalee town and other surrounding areas. One of the proposed projects for Trincomalee under this plan is the special economic zone at Kappalthurai. The first phase costs Rs. 4,250 million and the second, Rs. 2,600 million. It will be completed in 2015. There will also be a small and medium industrial zone at Kappalthurai. The first phase costs Rs. 500 million and the second, Rs. 1,000 million. It will be set up in 2008.A massive road project linking Uppuvely and Eechilampattu is to be constructed by 2010 for Rs. 10.3 billion. This proposed outer circular road will run through Sinhala areas of Seruwila division. This is an extension of a new road constructed in Trincomalee North. Two tourist resorts will be set up by 2010. They will be in Nilaweli and Verugal at a cost of Rs. 800 million and Rs. 1,750 million, respectively.The groundwork is being laid cleverly for future ‘Sinhalaisation’. The Road Development Authority has begun constructing an inner ring road and an outer ring road for Trincomalee. The inner ring road links Aathimottai on the Trincomalee-Nilaweli-Pulmottai Road, Kinniya on the A 12 (Puttalam-Anuradhapura-Trincomalee Road) and 189km post on A-6 (Kandy-Habarana-Trincomalee Road).

Encroachments

The outer ring road planned will begin at Kuchchaveli on the Trincomalee-Nilaweli-Pulmottai Road, cross A12 near Pankulam and meet A6 between, Kantalai and Tamplakamam and proceed to Ilankaiturai-Muhathuvaram and Sampur.Arrangements are being made for the Sinhalese ‘encroachers’ to move in between A-6 and A12 on this ring road.There are also many ex-servicemen in key positions. The Governor is Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema. The GA is Major General Ranjith de Silva. The Rehabilitation Coordinator is Major General Amaradeva. The Governor’s Secretary is Capt. Patrick Jayasinghe.

Concluded  (The Island – December 28, 2007)

http://pdfs.island.lk/2007/12/27/p10.pdf


  • Appointing ex-servicemen to key administrative posts has been criticized by members of the administrative service. However, the fact remains that this combination of retired administrative and security officials is well-equipped to implement the ‘Sinhalaisation’ process in the East.
  • After de-merging the North and East in October 2006, the Eastern Province administration is being ethnically transformed. Former Trincomalee GAs, Rodrigo and Nelundeniya, are chief Secretary and Public Administration Secretary respectively. Former Matale GA, Udage, is now Secretary of the Provincial Public Services Commission.
  • The construction work is being undertaken by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The RDA Chief Engineer in Trincomalee works very closely with the SLA. The planning is done in Colombo. The Provincial Director of the RDA, based in Batticaloa is completely in the dark about the two ring road projects.
  • The other important project is the coal-fired power plant to be set up with Indian assistance. Both phases of the project are expected to cost US$ 500 million each and will be completed by 2012. Originally it was ear-marked for Kappalthurai but Colombo wanted to set it up later in Sampur. However, New Delhi has stood firm and it is likely to come up in Kappalthurai.
  • A new administrative secretariat will be established for Rs. 300 million in 2008. A new fisheries harbour costing Rs. 1,000 million is to be constructed by 2010 at Pudavaikattu. A new town development scheme for Andankulam-China Bay is to be built by 2010 for Rs. 1,500 million.
  • More than 65% of the people, Tamils and Muslim living in the coastal area of the Ampara district. But the Ampara kachcheri continues the administration in Sinhala quite contrary to the constitutional requirement of the language of administration in Tamil.
  • In the Sammanthurai Muslim majority DRO division, nearly 50 sq. miles of l and area covering the Hendy Institute, Ampara tank and town area was separated and added with the Wewagarnpattu South – Uhana AGA division.
  • According to 1971 census, the population of Ampara District – 47% Muslims, 30% Sinhalese, and 23% Tamils. The Ampara electorate created for the, newly settled Sinhalese under the Gal Oya state aided colonisation is 880 sq. miles. With the 370 sq. miles allocated for the Lahugala and Damana AGA Division, the 30% Sinhalese were given 1,250 sq. miles- 70% land area, wher as the 70% Tamils and Muslims are left with only 30% of land area – 5.25 sq. miles.
  • The political authority and the District Minister in the then government were very keen to grab the already developed paddy fields of the Muslims and settle Sinhalese relatives brought from the South. These are the politically aided settlements of Sinhalese in Muslim areas which is over and above the 38 settlements of Sinhalese colonised under the Gal Oya scheme during 1960-63. This had seriously affected the economy and the political strength of the indigenous Muslim population of Ampara district.
  • Actions continue to deprive the Muslims owning even the 14% of the land in Ampara District in the name of religion and culture. The Commissioner of Archaeology has identified 43 places of Buddhist Archaeological Interest in the predominantly Muslim areas of Ampara District. It was around 1940 that a Buddhist priest came to reside at the site of the Deegawapi Chaitlya. There were no Buddhist to give Dana. The Muslims in this area helped the priest. The land around the Chaitiya was planted with coconut with the help of the Muslims of the area for the priest. Suddenly in 1960 some Buddhist wanted all the land around the Chaitiya to be taken over by the government for Buddhist purpose.
  • In the Padavia Colonisation Scheme of the land that falls within the Trincomalee District in the Eastern Province , the entirety of the land was alienated to the Sinhalese. Needless to say that the entirety of the land under the Padavia Scheme that fell within the North-Central Province was also given to the Sinhalese. Today, the Tamil Speaking people, Tamils and Muslims who held land on State Permits within the Trincomalee District very much before the implementation of Padavia, Allai and Kantalai colonisation schemes, on the boundary of such schemes are being compelled to vacate such lands.
  • Kinniya which is the largest Muslim Village in Trincomalee has a population of 40,000. The poor landless farmers who lost their purana lands to the Sinhalese under Kantalai Colonisaton Scheme, started clearing their immediate neighbouring jungle at a place called Vanaru. About 10,000 acres of land had been occupied by more than 3,000 Muslim farmers from the villages in the area – Vanaru, Sundiaru, Maniarasankulam, Savaru, Kalaruppu, Valamadu, Vannathipalam, Katukuli, Naduluthu etc. In 1967, the Government introduced a scheme called Kusumangada Vanala Scheme and started chasing the Muslims who were in occupation of the land at Vanaru. It was during this time that a Police Station was opened at the heart of the jungle called Van-Ela Police Station to chase away the Muslims and help the Sinhalese to take possession of the lands developed by the Muslims.
  • Before the introduction of the Kantalai and Allai Colonisation Schemes, Kantalai was predominantly Muslim. Muslims cultivated about 4,000 acres of paddy land at a place called Pottanai in Thampalakamam Pattu. When the Kantalai Colonisation Scheme began in 1952, the promise and the policy of the Government was 50% for the locals and 50% for others. Quite contrary to this, the Muslim cultivators who had been in the land for more than 30 years were chased away without any compensation. These lands were given to the Sinhalese in 1954.
  • The Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation at Inguruana, Tile Factory under the Ministry of Industries at Irrakkamam and the River Valley Development Board – the successor to the Gal Oya Development Board, took over the fertile paddy fields of the Muslims without any regard to the provisions of the law relating to acquisition of land.
  • The River Valley Development Board the successor to the Gal Oya Board, without any notice or compensation to the Muslim cultivators with LDO Permits, handed over the whole area to the Sugar Corporation. Hundreds of Muslims were thrown out on the road.
  • The opening of the Gal Oya Scheme was a great boon to the Sinhala people and this has been used as a device to deprive the Muslims to live and own lands under this scheme.
  • This has contributed to the growth of tension and hostilities among different communities resulting in ethnic violence. The victims of such violence have always been the Tamils and Muslims.
  • 2. Deprivation of Land, more particularly developed land, to landless people in the Districts of Land alienation.
  • The Land Policies pursued hitherto by successive Governments after Independence have had their far reaching adverse effects.
  • Tamil population increased from 136,059 to 411,451 – 302%, Muslim population increased from 109,024 to 315,201 – 289%, Sinhalese population increased from 27,556 to 243,358 – 883%. The National average increase of Sinhalese during this period is only 238%. The sudden increase of Sinhala population is the result of Government planed Sinhala Colonisation in Gal-oya, Pannal-oya, and Ambalam-oya in Ampara District, and Kanthalai, Allai, Morawewa, Muthalikkulam, Pathaviya (Part), and Mahadiuluwewa schemes in Trincomalee District.
  • See Table 1
  • The Eastern Province is 3,839 sq. miles in extent. Originally Trincomalee 1,016 sq. miles and Batticaloa 2,823 sq. miles were the districts in this province. According to the 1921 census, the Sinhalese were 3% of the population in the Trincomalee District and 4.5% in the combined Batticaloa and Ampara District. The Sinhalese were less than 4% in the whole Eastern Province .
  • The objectives of their agenda is to make Sinhala people the single largest ethnic group in the Eastern Province . The master plan envisages demographic changes through state aided settlements, tourism development and a Buddhist revival in Ampara District and agro-business promotion in the Toppigala areas in Batticaloa District.
  • JHU Party Policy-maker and the Minister in the present UPF coalition government had made a statement in a National News Paper on Thursday December 20, 2007 , that the Sinhalisation of the East is a myth scoffing at the allegations regarding the Sinhalisation of the East by some minority politicians. Some facts and figures to prove the fallacy of the statement of the Minister.
  • Sinhalisation of Eastby M.I.M. Mohideen, The Island, December 26 and 27, 2007Under the Accelerated Mahaweli Programme, the land area coming under the Eastern Province is 159,000 acres or 44,312 allotments. More than 100,000 Sinhalese will be settled soon according to the new agenda. When the operation is commenced in the proposed Heda Oya Scheme in Pottuvil, Ampara District, the demography of the East will be changed to 55% Sinhalese…After de-merging the North and East in October 2006, the Eastern Province administration is being ethnically transformed. Former Trincomalee GAs, Rodrigo and Nelundeniya, are chief Secretary and Public Administration Secretary respectively. Former Matale GA, Udage, is now Secretary of the Provincial Public Services Commission…
  • Appointing ex-servicemen to key administrative posts has been criticized by members of the administrative service. However, the fact remains that this combination of retired administrative and security officials is well-equipped to implement the ‘Sinhalaisation’ process in the East.JHU Party Policy-maker and the Minister in the present UPF coalition government had made a statement in a National Newspaper on Thursday December 20, 2007, that the Sinhalisation of the East is a myth scoffing at the allegations regarding the Sinhalisation of the East by some minority politicians. Some facts and figures to prove the fallacy of the statement of the Minister.The objectives of their agenda is to make Sinhala people the single largest ethnic group in the Eastern Province. The master plan envisages demographic changes through state-aided settlements, tourism development and a Buddhist revival in Ampara District and agro-business promotion in the Toppigala areas in Batticaloa District.The Eastern Province is 3,839 sq. miles in extent. Originally Trincomalee 1,016 sq. miles and Batticaloa 2,823 sq. miles were the districts in this province. According to the 1921 census, the Sinhalese were 3% of the population in the Trincomalee District and 4.5% in the combined Batticaloa and Ampara District. The Sinhalese were less than 4% in the whole Eastern Province. Population Increase between 1949 and 1981 See Table 1The Land Policies pursued hitherto by successive Governments after Independence have had their far reaching adverse effects.2. Deprivation of Land, more particularly developed land, to landless people in the Districts of Land alienation.This has contributed to the growth of tension and hostilities among different communities resulting in ethnic violence. The victims of such violence have always been the Tamils and Muslims.The opening of the Gal Oya Scheme was a great boon to the Sinhala people and this has been used as a device to deprive the Muslims to live and own lands under this scheme.The River Valley Development Board, the successor to the Gal Oya Board, without any notice or compensation to the Muslim cultivators with LDO Permits, handed over the whole area to the Sugar Corporation. Hundreds of Muslims were thrown out on the road.The Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation at Inguruana, Tile Factory under the Ministry of Industries at Irrakkamam and the River Valley Development Board – the successor to the Gal Oya Development Board, took over the fertile paddy fields of the Muslims without any regard to the provisions of the law relating to acquisition of land.Before the introduction of the Kantalai and Allai Colonisation Schemes, Kantalai was predominantly Muslim. Muslims cultivated about 4,000 acres of paddy land at a place called Pottanai in Thampalakamam Pattu. When the Kantalai Colonisation Scheme began in 1952, the promise and the policy of the Government was 50% for the locals and 50% for others. Quite contrary to this, the Muslim cultivators who had been in the land for more than 30 years were chased away without any compensation. These lands were given to the Sinhalese in 1954.Kinniya which is the largest Muslim Village in Trincomalee has a population of 40,000. The poor landless farmers who lost their purana lands to the Sinhalese under Kantalai Colonisaton Scheme, started clearing their immediate neighbouring jungle at a place called Vanaru. About 10,000 acres of land had been occupied by more than 3,000 Muslim farmers from the villages in the area – Vanaru, Sundiaru, Maniarasankulam, Savaru, Kalaruppu, Valamadu, Vannathipalam, Katukuli, Naduluthu etc. In 1967, the Government introduced a scheme called Kusumangada Vanala Scheme and started chasing the Muslims who were in occupation of the land at Vanaru. It was during this time that a Police Station was opened at the heart of the jungle called Van-Ela Police Station to chase away the Muslims and help the Sinhalese to take possession of the lands developed by the Muslims.In the Padavia Colonisation Scheme of the land that falls within the Trincomalee District in the Eastern Province, the entirety of the land was alienated to the Sinhalese. Needless to say that the entirety of the land under the Padavia Scheme that fell within the North-Central Province was also given to the Sinhalese. Today, the Tamil Speaking people, Tamils and Muslims who held land on State Permits within the Trincomalee District very much before the implementation of Padavia, Allai and Kantalai colonisation schemes, on the boundary of such schemes are being compelled to vacate such lands.Actions continue to deprive the Muslims owning even the 14% of the land in Ampara [Amparai] District in the name of religion and culture. The Commissioner of Archaeology has identified 43 places of Buddhist Archaeological Interest in the predominantly Muslim areas of Ampara District. It was around 1940 that a Buddhist priest came to reside at the site of the Deegawapi Chaitlya. There were no Buddhist to give Dana. The Muslims in this area helped the priest. The land around the Chaitiya was planted with coconut with the help of the Muslims of the area for the priest. Suddenly in 1960 some Buddhist wanted all the land around the Chaitiya to be taken over by the government for Buddhist purpose. ——————————————————————————-
  • In 1968 the government appointed a committee headed by Mr. Ratnethunge, the former Surveyor General, to investigate and submit a report. A number of Buddhist organisations made representations and finally the Committee recommended the take over of 500 acres around the Chaitiya. It was agreed that no more land would be taken. Quite contrary to this promise by the Sinhala Buddhists, there was a sudden move to acquire another 1,000 acres of paddy land belonging to the Muslims. The Government, without any regard for Law and Order sent in bulldozers destroying the paddy cultivation in the Periyavisaraikandam owned by the Muslims on Crown Grant Title Deeds.
  • Muslim lands forcibly taken over in the name of Buddhist religion and culture
  • The land available between Kinniya-Thampalakamam Road and Alaikanthalai Road was originally reserved for the village expansion of Kinniya, Kurunjankerney Alankerney and Thampalakamarn. When the Tobacco Corporation came in at a place called Chondankadu area, closer to Mudalaimadu, the employees of the Corporation started encroaching these areas.
  • The Battukachchi area which is presently called Akbarpura was the pasture land of the people of the area. Here also they chased the Muslims and colonised with Sinhalese. Even now there is a Mosque and a Muslim school, When the Kantalai Sugar Corporation was established in 1958, more Sinhalese came in and occupied the land along Alakantalai Road, depriving the lands of the Muslims. Kantalai, Pottanaikadu, Peraru are a few of the purana villages of the Muslims and Tamils which are now being occupied by the Sinhalese.
  • Muslim lands forcibly colonised with the Sinhalese in Trincomalee District
  • The land take over from the Muslims proved a dismal failure for sugar cultivation. Later the Government settled Sinhalese brought from the South instead of giving the land back to the Muslims who had developed these lands on LDO Permits.
  • Muslim Lands forcibly colonised with the Sinhalese in Ampara District
  • When the Gal Oya Development Scheme was inaugurated, the late Hon. D. S. Senanayake stated that at least 50% of the new lands that were to become cultivatable under the Gal Oya Development Scheme would be distributed on a 50 – 50 basis between the local citizens of the Batticaloa district and the would be colonists from outside.
  • 3. Substantial alteration in the Ethnic composition of the Districts in which State Land have been alienated.
  • 1. The Minorities have been denied their legitimate share of Developed State Land.
  • State-aided Sinhala Colonizations
  • Tamil population increased from 136,059 to 411,451 – 302%, Muslim population increased from 109,024 to 315,201 – 289%, Sinhalese population increased from 27,556 to 243,358 – 883%. The National average increase of Sinhalese during this period is only 238%. The sudden increase of Sinhala population is the result of Government-planned Sinhala Colonisation in Gal-oya, Pannal-oya, and Ambalam-oya in Ampara District, and Kanthalai, Allai, Morawewa, Muthalikkulam, Pathaviya (Part), and Mahadiuluwewa schemes in Trincomalee District.
  • The Batticaloa District was divided into the present Ampara District 1,775 sq. miles and Batticaloa District 1,048 sq. miles in 1961. Details of the 1981 population in the Eastern Province.
  • Facts and figures about population growth will help to illustrate how demography patterns have been unnaturally altered or distorted through state-aided colonisation, demarcation of new political and administrative units and accelerated irrigation schemes in the Eastern Province.
  • The ‘nava pancha bala vegaya‘ has been striving very hard to alter the Eastern demography. It has backing right at the top and involves sections of the Buddhist clergy, security forces, bureaucrats, businessman and politicians.
  • More than 65% of the people, Tamils and Muslims, [are] living in the coastal area of the Ampara district. But the Ampara kachcheri [government office] continues the administration in Sinhala quite contrary to the constitutional requirement of the language of administration in Tamil…
  • The objectives of their agenda is to make Sinhala people the single largest ethnic group in the Eastern Province. The master plan envisages demographic changes through state aided settlements, tourism development and a Buddhist revival in Ampara District and agro-business promotion in the Toppigala areas in Batticaloa District…
  • A reply to Minister Champika Ranawaka

Eastern Province

Administrative
District
DS
Divisions
GN
Divisions
Total
Area
(km2)[1]
Land
Area
(km2)[1]
Population (2012 Census)[2] Population
Density
(/km2)
Sri Lankan Tamil Sri Lankan Moors Sinhalese Indian Tamil Other Total
Ampara 20 507 4,415 4,222 112,750 282,484 251,018 165 1,640 648,057 147
Batticaloa 14 348 2,854 2,610 381,285 133,844 6,127 1,015 2,871 525,142 184
Trincomalee 11 230 2,727 2,529 115,549 152,854 101,991 6,531 1,257 378,182 139
Total 45 1,085 9,996 9,361 609,584 569,182 359,136 7,711 5,768 1,551,381 155

 

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Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist

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