The Tamil people have lost their homes and places of worship and are once again in dire straits. The Sri Lankan government has been using various means to expropriate the lands and places of worship of the Tamil people as planned to change the distribution of the Tamil people in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.
Twelve years after the end of the war, the Department of Forests has identified the native lands and places of worship of the Tamil people in the North and East as state lands and, as nowhere else in Sri Lanka, has encroached on the public by barring them from entering their lands and places of worship.
As a result of these inhumane acts of the state, many elderly people have died without being able to go to their own lands and places of worship. And many civilians are still facing many hardships.
However, the government, which does not consider anything, continues to expropriate the lands of the Tamil people. There are no solutions to this and the general public is in a position where no one can do anything.
In the North East alone, more than a thousand acres of Tamil lands have been seized by the security forces in the name of a security zone.
In particular, civilian lands confiscated in the name of a security zone in the Northern Province have today become massive military bases. At the end of the war, the people staged a series of protests to reclaim the lands of the Tamil people that had been confiscated by the government, and some of the lands seized by the government were handed over to the public in response to demands. Despite this, many acres of land remains in the possession of the security forces. This aside, the Forest Department is once again trying to expropriate the lands of the Tamil people by identifying them as state lands.
The Sri Lankan government has been adopting different approaches to land grabbing. Especially in the Eastern Province, large tracts of Tamil land have been confiscated in the name of development and security. Land grabs are particularly prevalent in Batticaloa, such as Vavuniya, kalkuda, Pullumalai, Valaichenai, and Vavuniya.
Not only this, the Mahaweli Development Authority is expropriating lands and carrying out Sinhala settlements in the name of Mahaweli Development. They have also banned the people living in the village of Andankulam in the Kumulamunai area of Mullaitivu from going to their lands.
This aside, today the Forest Department is trying to seize the lands of the Tamil people and carry out the planned encroachments on the places of worship of the Tamil people as planned. This is not fair.
The Department of Archeology has been claiming ownership of Buddhist archeological sites for the past 10 years, claiming that many of the centuries-old vegan temples and vegan temples are historically mentioned in religious literature and manuscripts.
Many temples in the north and east are being looted today, such as the Ottusuttan Thanthondri Eeswarar Temple, Manthai East Pathirakali Amman Temple, Kumarapuram Sri Chithravelayuthar Murugan Temple, Kumulamunai Anjaneyar Temple, Pandiyankulam Sivapuram Sirimalai Temple, Vavunikulam Sivapuram Sirimalai Temple, Kumulamunai Kurinjikumaran Temple, Mannar Thirukkedeswaran Temple, Mayila , Trincomalee Thennamaravadi Kandasamymalai,Pulmottai Rice Mill Hill Temple, Muttur, Sudaikuda Hill Murugan Temple, Trincomalee Koneswarar Temple, Sivapuram Shivalayam, Manthai East Adisivan Temple, Kunchumappa Periyasamy Temple, Sri Malai Neeliyamman Temple, Kallumalai Pillaiyar Temple, Batticaloa Thandamalai Temple, Batticaloa , Batticaloa, Chittandi Murugan Temple, Kanyaya hot spring, Kusalamalai Saiva Kumaran Temple and Kankesanthurai Saiva Temple.
Of these temples, the Department of Archeology has been blocking all construction work on the Trincomalee Koneswarar Temple since 2015. In particular, 99 per cent of the structures on the temple premises have been declared illegal and the site is Buddhist. At the same time, the head of the Presidential Secretariat for Archeology of the Eastern Province, Ellawala Medananda Thero, has claimed that the Trincomalee Temple was built on top of the Gokanna Vihara built during the Anuradhapura period.
Similarly, the Sri Malai Neeliyamman Temple in Trincomalee District has been demolished and a Buddhist temple called Pashana Pabbatha Rajamaha Vihara has been set up in the temple premises.
Not only this, the Kunchumappa Periyasamy temple, which was traditionally worshiped by the Tamil people in the Mukattuvaram area in the Trincomalee district, has been completely demolished and a new shrine named “Lanka Pattuna Samuthiragiri” has been built on the site.
Town and environment in Trincomalee The Kanyaya hot springs which were under the administration of the Pradeshiya Sabha have been brought under the Archaeological Department of the Central Government and are claiming to have Buddhist religious symbols.
The Department of Archeology has banned worship at the Thennamaravadi Kandasamymalai Temple in Trincomalee in the Trincomalee District. Kandasamy Hill is claimed as a Buddhist religious land. Not only in the East but also in the North.
In particular, They have illegally installed a Buddha statue in the premises of the Pillaiyar temple in Semmalai Niraviyadi in Mullaitivu district. The last rites of a Buddhist monk were held at the temple premises in defiance of court orders.
Worship at the Vedukunari Hill Adisivan Temple has been continuously banned and members of the temple administration have been arrested.
They have removed the scepter of the Adi Iyanar temple at Kurundur hill and started work on setting up a Buddhist shrine in defiance of court orders. In particular, the Department of Archeology claims that there was an ancient Buddhist temple called Kurunda Asokarama in the vicinity of this temple.
A Saivate temple in Kankesanthurai has been demolished and a Buddhist temple called Kemunu Vihara has been set up in the temple premises.
The front door and the main idol of the Kusalamalai Saiva Kumaran temple in Batticaloa district have been smashed as Buddhist monks claim that there are Buddhist religious symbols in the area.
For example, the Department of Archeology forbade people to enter and worship at the Kundur Hill Shiva Temple in Mullaitivu. In addition, the Archaeological Department has identified the Vedukunarimalai Adilingeswarar Temple in the north of Vavuniya as an archeological site and has banned people from visiting the site today.
In addition, the Department of Archeology has confiscated the places of worship of the Tamil people only in the North and East as state lands by showing false evidence and evidence, starting with the Chemmalai Niraviyadi Pillaiyar Temple and more recently the Uruthirapuram Shiva Temple. We can never accept such planned land grabs.
It is not right for the Sri Lankan government to seize the lands and places of worship of the Tamil people, what will happen if the lands of the Tamil people in the North East are continuously confiscated. The Tamil people must stand still again, losing their habitats and places of worship. There is no one to solve this.
It is unacceptable for the Department of Archeology and the Department of Forests in the North Eastern Provinces to encroach on the lands and places of worship of the Tamil people and try to claim ownership.