Colombo's tourism industry to grab 1,300 acres along Batticaloa coast

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 July 2017, 23:40 GMT]
The occupying Colombo has grabbed 1,300 acres of coastal lands from four administrative divisions in Batticaloa for commercial exploitation by Sinhala and external actors aligned with Colombo, a highly placed source in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) told TamilNet. The lands are mostly situated within 500 meters from the territorial sea baseline, the officials said. The EPC was under pressure from Colombo to hand over the lands for its ‘tourism’ business, the sources further said. 21 Paadus (sea beds falling within the scope of draw-nets) of Eezham Tamils are directly affected by the seizure. In the meantime, the divisional secretaries of all the 14 divisions in Batticaloa have been instructed by Colombo to evaluate the value of private and public lands, the sources further said. Similar land grab is also taking place in Trincomalee.

Colombo was eying a vast area of lands in the district for commercial exploitation in the near future.

“This is demographic genocide taken through so-called tourism development,” the source further commented.

The four divisions with coastal Tamil fishermen affected by the latest move are Koa'ra'laip-pattu North (Vaakarai), Koa'ra'laip-pattu (Vaazhaich-cheanai), Koa'ra'laip-pattu South (Kiraan) and Ea'raavoor-pattu (Chengkaladi).

The ancient villages of Tamil-speaking people, such as Vaakarai, Kalmadu, Vaazhaich-cheanai, Theva-puram, Ka'luvang-kea'ni and Tha'lavaay will be affected. The people are not only going to lose their residential lands and their access to fish-rich seabeds, but their agriculture- and farm- based economy will be destroyed through the structural and demographic changes that are going to take place.

The lands being seized from the nation of Eezham Tamils will be transferred to foreign State-owned and private corporates that have partnership agreements with SL State-owned businesses and with Sinhala-owned businesses in South.

In Trincomalee district, 1,500 acres of lands, ranging from 3rd Mile Post to Nilaave'li, have been seized under a similar scheme citing tourism ‘development’.

None of the Tamil residents who lost their lands have been provided with compensation so far, news sources in Trincomalee said.

 

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