New Report Reveals shocking details on land grabbing, Sinhala settlements and militarization in the North and East
A study from the US-based think tank Oakland Institute, Endless War: The Destroyed Land, Life, and Identity of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, released today reveals shocking details and evidence on the seriousness of land grabbing, Sinhala settlements and militarization in the North and East of Sri Lanka.
Under the guise of “development projects,” government driven Sinhalese colonization is growing within Tamil areas with the intent to change demographics and deny Tamil communities access to their land. “Through irrigation schemes, military settlements, archaeological reservations, wildlife sanctuaries, forest reserves and special economic zones — land-grabbing in the North and East has worsened since the regime change two years ago,” said Anuradha Mittal, who coordinated the research for the report. “Denying Tamils access to their ancestral land, changing the name of villages, replacing churches and Hindu temples by Buddhist viharas, and victory monuments dedicated to the Sinhalese domination, is a concerted effort to erase the Tamil history and culture. The government’s strategy is also to geographically fragment the traditional Tamil homeland — the North and the East of the country,” Mittal added. The report uncovers the use of several government departments — including the Mahaweli Authority, Archaeological Department, Forest Department, and Wildlife Department, in this strategy.