2ND LEAD (Correction)

Sirisena diverts water away from Tamil farmers to Sinhala projects in East

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 May 2017, 18:19 GMT]
Eezham Tamil agricultural farmers, who are dependent on irrigation from Vaakaneari tank in Koa'ra'laip-pattu South DS division, complain that the water intended to the tank is being diverted to Sinhala military run farms West of Vadamunai and by re-channelling the water from Vaakaneari tank to Sinhala-owned tourism industry in Paasik-kudaa. In the meantime, more than 1,200 Eezham Tamil fishing families, who are dependent on fresh water fishing in the tank, have also been severely affected by the diversion of the water. The SL President and Mahaweli minister Maithiripala Sirisena is directly responsible for the diversion of the water. The Tamil farmers and fishermen have condemned Maithiripala Sirisena for re-channelling the water away from tanks used by Tamils in Batticaloa to his Sinhala electorate of Polonnaruwa.

As the Commander-in-Chief of the occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka, Mr Maithiripala is also responsible for the act of redirecting water to Sinhala military run farms, they say.

Tamil farmers say their agriculture in 8,150 acres has been severely affected during Chi'rupoakam period of cultivation (also known as Yala season). All these lands are dependant on irrigation from Vaakaneari scheme.

The occupying Sinhala military, based in Minneriya in Polonnaruwa, is engaged in agriculture 10 km west of Vadamunai in 1,500 acres of lands. The river carrying Mahaweli water to Vaakaneari tank is being diverted at Ve'l'lavi'raal Oadai.

At the same time more than 80,000 litres of water is being channelled to hotels and tourist resorts in Paasikkudaa per day. Sinhala businessmen own most of these 3-star hotels and resorts.

Location of Kudumpimalai
The location of newly established checkpoints of the Sri Lanka Army at Allai-oadai and Maavaddavaan junction [Photo: TamilNet]


Several forms of Sinhala occupation target the hinterland situated northwest of Batticaloa. The region is known as Padvaan-karai and was protected by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam before 2007.

After the genocidal onslaught on Champoor and Vaakarai and finally on Vanni in 2009, the SL military promoted Sinhalal colonists as ‘home guards’ to enter the pasture lands of Tamil dairy farmers. SL military started ‘heritage’ tourism from Sinahala south targeting Kudumpi-malai area in a strategic move of Sinhalicisation.

At the same time, the SL Ministry of so-called Mahaweli development has been responsible for ethno-centric structural genocide against Eezham Tamils, particularly from Batticaloa in the East to Mulaiththeevu in North, along the hinterland of eastern coast.

Maithiripala Sirisena is leading the SL ministry for several years since 1997. Even after becoming the president, Mr Sirisena continues to retain the portfolio of ‘Mahaweli development’.

In the first phase, the System B of Mahaweli scheme targets to divert the waters to Sinhala farmers in Welikanda and Dimbulagala D.S divisions in the Polonnaruwa district, which is the home electorate of Maithiripala Sirisena.

Eezham Tamil farmers and fishermen in Batticaloa, facing the crisis will be forced to move away from their areas and the next phase of so-called agricultural expansion under the System B will be target Sinhalicisation of agricultural areas in the hinterland of Batticaloa district, say Tamil farmers who are dependent on irrigation channels from Vaakaneari and Vadamunai tanks.


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