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The resettlement issues in the Northern and Eastern provinces

By Lt Col (Retd) Anil Amarasekera

(June 08, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) “Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world. For more than three decades, the group has launched a campaign of violence and bloodshed in Sri Lanka, the island republic off the southern coast of India.” said a report of The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This is now past history. The LTTE has been convincingly defeated by our Security Forces, under the leadership of its Commander in Chief President Mahinda Rajapakse.

There were many people who were internally displaced. We saw on television an influx of over two hundred and sixty thousand internally displaced people who were held as human shields crossing over to the government control areas in search of protection during the final stage of the war against LTTE terrorism. We also saw many of them being shot and killed by the LTTE when they made that audacious crossing of the Nanthi Kadal lagoon. We witnessed on television the effort of the Security Forces who risked their very lives to rescue these people. We understood the suffering these people had gone through when many of them were interviewed by television channels. We saw these people herded into overcrowded IDP camps and the valiant effort made by the security forces and the government to make their life more comfortable.

However the western television channels and western journalists that were sympathetic or probably paid by the Tamil Diaspora or vested interests left no stone unturned to distort what was happening in this country. They made this most humanitarian rescue operation the world has ever known into a gruesome operation where human rights had been grossly violated. Some western countries even succeeded in taking this issue to the UN Human Rights Council. However they failed in their effort to discredit Sri Lanka or to gain approval to interfere in the internal affairs of our country. Countries representing nearly four billion of the world population accepted our resolution praised Sri Lanka for its efforts to defeat the LTTE and pledged to support our country for its post war development and resettlement efforts. The western countries that voted against our resolution were supported by countries that accounted for only half a billion people, while countries representing about quarter billion of the world’s population refrained from voting. Thus little Sri Lanka like little David defeated the western Countries that looked very much like Goliath.

The resettlement issue in the northern and eastern provinces has now taken center stage. It has to be implemented to bring peace and prosperity to this country and not to divide and destroy this country. The vested interest backed by the western countries that we defeated at the UN Human Rights Council will now try to surreptitiously sabotage all our efforts at development and resettlement in the northern and eastern provinces. We must therefore implement our program in this regard with utmost care and caution. There will be many Trojan horses sent by these western countries with vested interests in the form of INGOs and NGOs. Some of them are already active in IDP camps. The sooner we tell them to go back home and mind their own business the faster our country will move towards peace and prosperity.

There are many internally displaced Tamil citizens now languishing in IDP camps. They must be resettled in their original habitats as soon as possible once security clearance is given for doing so. However their identity must be established beyond reasonable doubt, bearing in mind that the Task Force for Illicit Immigration was defunct for over three decades and there would have been many Tamils from Tamil Nadu brought into this country by the LTTE and settled in the area that they once controlled to implement on ground their mythical Tamil Eelam through the presence of a Tamil populace. The population figures of the Mullattivue and Kilinochchi district as of 1981 and the present population of internally displaced Tamil people when compared gives one much reason to suspect that people from Tamil Nadu must have been settled in these two districts. The natural increase cannot justify such a large population explosion in these two districts in less than three decades, given the fact that in addition to the natural deaths that would have occurred, many people were also killed as a result of the conflict.

While endeavouring to resettle the Tamil internally displaced citizen of this country that are in distress in their original habitats it would be a travesty of justice not to consider the internally displaced Sinhala people of the northern and eastern provinces to resettle tem too in their original habitats. I have compiled below some information that is of relevance in this regard collected over the years.

With regard to the unity and territorial integrity of our country, the Yan Oya river basin is strategically the most important area. The landmass in this river basin links the Northern Province to the Eastern Province. To those who advocate the establishment of the nation of Eelam by the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, it is very important firstly to destabilize this river basin and subsequently to ethnically cleanse this area of any Sinhala presence. The effort surreptitiously made in this direction during many years of conflict is surprisingly not known to many. If the unity and territorial integrity of our motherland is to be preserved for posterity it is this effort that has to be reversed with immediate effect by resettling all the Sinhala families that have left the Yan Oya river basin. I sincerely hope the information given below will help the authorities in their efforts to reestablish a united and prosperous motherland, where its entire citizenship could live in peace and amity.

It could be approximated that over five thousand Sinhala families have been internally displaced from the Yan Oya river basin. It has taken place from several Divisional Secretariat Areas that are in the Northern, Eastern and North Central Provinces. While more information is given in this article to justify this estimate, it has focused special attention to the Gomarankadawala area of the Eastern Province and the Padaviya area of the North Central Province that have been extensively affected. Detailed consideration has not been given in this article to other areas in the Yan Oya river basin that have been affected to a lesser degree. The Gomarankadawala Divisional Secretariat Area is on the southern bank of Yan Oya. It is in the Trincomalee District of the Eastern Province. It has twenty-three purana Sinhala villages that were totally abandoned after 1984, due to LTTE terrorist threats and attacks. The names of these villages are given with the approximate number of Sinhala families that were displaced from each village. While most of these villages still remain abandoned, a few Sinhala families have recently resettled in two of these villages.


Families displaced Families resettled
Mylawewa GS Division
1. Kohobakatuwa 17 Nil
2. Andiyagala 15 Nil
3. Mylawewa 50 Nil
4. Walaskunewa 4 Nil
5. Bellikkada 12 Nil
6. Nabadawewa 7 Nil
7. Veherawewa 7 Nil
8. Thalgaswewa 50 Nil
9. Kuda Thalgaswewa 15 Nil
10. Moragama 20 Nil
11. Indulhittiyawa 15 Nil
12. Halambawewa 10 Nil
Pulikandikulama GS Division
11. Ottichankulama 30 Nil
12. Kuruneyankulama 20 Nil
13. Kirindewa 4 Nil
14. Paddhagama (Rankiriulpatha) 25 11
Kewlekadawala GS Division
15. Konabandhiwewa 30 Nil
16. Epagama 6 Nil
17. Kootikulama 20 4
Kandamalawa GS Division
18. Madugahawewa 25 6
Kalyanapura GS Division
19. Moragaswewa 20 Nil
20. Gemunupura 45 Nil
21. Veherabandiwewa 6 Nil



Some Sinhala villages were partially abandoned in three of these GS Divisions
Families displaced Families resettled
Kalyanapura GS Division
1. Kallanpathuwa 100 Nil
2. Wilpanakulama 10 Nil

Kewlekadawala GS Division
3. Kewlekadawala N / A 7
4. Adampane N / A 1

Pulikandikulama GS Division


5.
Pulikandikulama N / A 4

The number of Sinhala families who were internally displaced from the Gomarankadawala Divisional Secretariat area maybe approximated to over one thousand.

Padaviya is in the northern part of the Yan Oya basin. While some of the villages in the Padaviya Divisional Secretariat Area are in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province others are in the Vavuniya and Mullattivu Districts of the Northern Province. While some villages in the Anuradhapura District have been totally abandoned many Sinhala families in others have been internally displaced. Sinhala families that were living in villages within the Vavuniya and Mullattivue Districts have also been internally displaced while two Sinhala villages in the Vavuniya District have been totally abandoned.

Internally displaced

Anuradhapura district
1. Konkatiyawa, Kumbukwewa 433
2. Mahasenpura, Navagaswewa 18
3. Buddangala 69
4. Bisokotuwa 69
5. B Yaya 9
6. Sudarshanagama 98
7. Parakkramapura 127
8. Kambiliyawa, Konwewa, Veherawewa 105
9. Urewa 62
10. Omarakada 43
11. Kochikawewa 39
Vavuniya district
12. Gajabapura 71
13. Monarawewa 32

There are as much as nine hundred and twenty eight internally displaced Sinhala families from several villages in this Divisional Secretariat Area who presently live with friends and relations.

The Sinhala villages of the Anuradhapura District in this Divisional Secretariat Area were linked to Sinhala villages of the Vavuniya District in the Vavuniya South Sinhala Divisional Secretariat Area by a road that extended from Padavi Parakkramapura to Maha Kachchaikodiya. While villages such as Kambiliyawa, Konwewa and Veherawewa along this road are in the Anuradhapura District, Kalebogaswewa, Erupotana and Pirappanmaduwa are in the Vavuniya District. All these Sinhala villages were attacked and driven out by LTTE terrorists in an effort to link the Northern and Eastern Provinces through areas sans Sinhala Villages. These strategic Sinhala villages need to be therefore resettled on a priority basis to defeat the aims and objectives of separatism.

The one hundred and five families who were displaced from Kambiliyawa, Konwewa and Veherawewa are very eager to return to these villages, but sadly due to some wrong interpretation of security concerns, the Army considered these three villages to be in no man’s land. Therefore the Army had requested the displaced families from these three villages not to return, even though these villages are well within the Anuradhapura District.

Therefore with the end of the war against the LTTE instructions will have to be given through the Defence Ministry to the Army to allow resettlement to commence in the villages of Kambiliyawa, Konwewa and Veherawewa. The Thawalamwewa that can irrigate nearly five hundred acres of paddy land is also in this area to which the Army did not grant access. The restoration work on this tank was nearly completed by the Thawalama Development Foundation before the villages in this area were abandoned with the fall of the forward defence line stretching from Puliyankulam to Nedunkereni. If resettlement is permitted in this area Thawalama Development Foundation will complete the restoration work on Thawalamwewa and some of the internally displaced families could be provided with irrigable land.

The resettlement of one hundred and three Sinhala families from Gajabapura and Monarawewa in the Weli Oya settlement scheme of the Mahaweli L system can be commenced forthwith. This settlement scheme to which Gajabapura and Monarawewa belong has been established in a disputed area of the Vavuniya and Mullativu Districts that links the Northern and Eastern Provinces. When the bunker line from Puliyankulam to Nedunkerni fell the defenses in the Weli Oya settlement too had to be readjusted and in so doing the forwarded defence line that encircled the villages of Gajabapura and Monarawewa had to be retracted. These two villages were then encircled by the LTTE and fell within their readjusted forward defence line. Some of the internally displaced families of these two villages who were living in a camp for internally displaced at Padaviya have been resettled elsewhere within the Mahaweli L System but many other families are still requesting the authorities to take necessary action to enable them to return to their villages. The authorities concerned have failed to respond all these years due to the fact that resettlement had to be undertaken in an area controlled by the LTTE. However that constrain no longer exists.

This Divisional Secretariat area of Padivi Sripura is on the northern side of Yan Oya. It is in the Trincomalee District of the Eastern Province. There are many internally displaced Sinhala families in this Divisional Secretariat area. Two hundred and seventy families were internally displaced in this divisional secretariat area. Two hundred and twenty five families that were displaced from the village of Sinhapura have to be resettled without further delay. Meegaswewa with forty-five families that was abandoned at one point of time has been resettled. The Meegaswewa tank has also been restored.

President J.R. Jayawardena had settled nearly two thousand Sinhala families around 1980 at Shanthipura that is situated to the south of Meegaswewa on the northern bank of Yan Oya. All these families left this area due to LTTE threats and attacks. Though Shanthipura was in the Padavi Sripura Divisional Secretariat Area earlier it is now considered to be in the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat Area after the boundaries were re-demarcated.

Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat Area is situated on both sides of the Yan Oya river. It is also in the Trincomalee District of the Eastern Province. If the resettlement of two thousand internally displaced families of Shanthipura is to be implemented this Divisional Secretariat has a colossal task to perform. In addition to Shanthipura there are several Sinhala families displaced from purana villages such as Tiriyaya and Hatarakattuwa who have to be located and resettled by this Divisional Secretariat.

Morawewa Divisional Secretariat Area is situated on the southern side of Yan Oya. It is also in the Trincomalee District of the Eastern Province. In this Divisional Secretariat area too several Sinhala families have been internally displaced. Nearly one hundred Sinhala families were displaced from Namalwatte. Forty-five of these families are living in a camp for internally displaced at Mahadivulwewa. While the resettlement of these forty-five families can be undertaken immediately the balance fifty-five internally displaced Sinhala families who may be living with friends and relations will have to be located and persuaded to resettle in Namalawatte. Many Sinhala families were also internally displaced from Morawewa. Fifty of these families have now returned and resettled in Morawewa. The rest who left Morawewa will have to be located by the Divisional Secretariat of Morawewa and resettled.

The Vavuniya South Divisional Secretariat Area was formally known as the Vavuniya South Sinhala Divisional Secretariat Area as it is predominantly Sinhala populated. It is situated at the northwestern end of the Yan Oya basin. This Divisional Secretariat Area is in the Vavuviya District of the Northern Province. The villages of Kalebogaswewa, Erupotana and Pirappanmaduwa were totally abandoned due to LTTE threats and attacks and need to be resettled immediately. There are numerous Sinhala villages in this Divisional Secretariat area outside the Yan Oya river basin from which Sinhala families have been internally displaced but this information is not available herewith.

Kebithigollewa Divisional Secretariat Area is on the northern side of the Yan Oya river basin. It is in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province. Many villages such as Kalepuliyankulama, Yakawewa, Indigollewa, Thalgaswewa, Maha Nikawewa and Morakewa were threatened or attacked by the LTTE and as a result abandoned. While most of these villages have now been reestablished, Indigollewa and Morakewa still remain abandoned. In the colonization scheme at Wahalkada the villages of D 6, D7 and D8 were abandoned. One hundred and seven families have been internally displaced from Wahalkada and they need to be resettled without further delay.

The Horowupotana Divisional Secretariat Area is on the northern side of the Yan Oya River is in the Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province. Villages such as Ambagaswewa, Dutuwewa and Wagollakadawala on the northern bank of Yan Oya were either threatened or attacked by the LTTE. However these villages were not abandoned though a few Sinhala families were internally displaced. There were also villages such as Diyatittawewa in this Divisional Secretariat area from which Sinhala families were internally displaced. All such families from these villages could be persuaded to resettle in their former villages if the Divisional Secretary takes the necessary initiative to do so.

When the information given above is summarized the position is as follows.

DIVISIONAL SECRETARIAT AREA NUMBER OF DISPLACED FAMILIES

1. Gomarankadawala 1,000
2. Padaviya 1,000
3. Padavi Sripura 300
4. Kuchchaveli (Shanthipura) 2,000
5. Morawewa 200
6. Vavuniya South Sinhala Division 200
7. Kebithigollewa 200
8. Horowupotana 100
Approximate total of internally displaced Sinhala families 5,000

I sincerely hope the information given in this article will prove useful for the authorities to evolve a suitable strategy to counter the surreptitious intentions of those who still intend to divide our nation. I sincerely hope that positive action will be taken without delay to preserve for posterity the unity and territorial integrity of our nation that our ancestors and now our brave Security Forces have protected for over two thousand five hundred years with blood, tears, sweat and toil, sometimes even sacrificing their valuable lives for this very purpose.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

1 comment

Deen said...

The president of SL stated that Sri Lanka is belongs to al the inhabitance of that island, that includes Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malay, burgers and Vedas etc. In order to resolve ethnic conflicts, SL current government needs to be fair to all its inhabitance. As you, know in the past ruthless LTTE genocide of Sinhalese and Muslims from the eastern and northern part of the island, for there Hindu ONLY Eelam. Now that is history, all the island’s inhabitants should have the RIGHT to live any where in this Paradise Island as Sri Lankans. This editor only state about Sinhalese clams, not a single word about Muslim’s who also suffered a lot and some of them are still living in the refugee camps, for your information they also Sri Lankans, please remember this when you are writing next time.

Torontoian

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