The land, which the people of the Northeast fought to protect, are today quietly being captured. The resources of Tamils are being plundered in a very systematic manner—thousands of fighters sacrificing their lives to save this land. Today, the Sinhala nation is pillaging our land without any loss.
In particular, the massive resource exploitation activities in Tamil areas in the Eastern Province are being carried out systematically. During the war, the resources protected by the Tamil people are being exploited, and exploiting them is being expedited.
Batticaloa district has many natural resources. The Tamil people carry their daily life chores with the natural resources in these areas. Paduvankarai area of Batticaloa district is rich in natural resources. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) focused more on protecting these areas even during the war.
Although the Tamil people have focused on protecting those areas since the war, the Sinhala government henchmen and Sinhala government’s money sharks have targeted these resources.
Kithul, an area under the Eravurpattu Divisional Secretariat Division of Batticaloa District, is one such area. Due to the abundance of water bodies, forests and associated fields in the region have become a heaven for nature and a haven for peace seekers.
Agricultural activities are carried out on about 1600 acres of land, especially in the region. They have been engaged in agricultural activities for many years amidst various customs. More than 3,000 cattle are reared in the area, and more than 100 families live fishing in the water bodies in these areas.
More than a thousand families who use all these resources daily for their livelihood have been systematically robbed for almost three years. Moreover, due to the digging, all forms of people are facing a lot of difficulties.
For the last three years, the soil excavations have been carried out with the political influence of those in South Lanka and the authorities’ cooperation here. The sand unearthed here is transported to the south by train and trucks.
These activities, supported by Tamil politicians associated with pro-Sinhala party politicians here, have affected the region’s natural resources and resulted in thousands of families losing their jobs.
Sand mining is carried out in river areas with hundreds of ploughing machines every day. As a result, it increasing river depth, and the field lands in the area will be destroyed in the future. In addition, forests in the area are being destroyed under the guise of soil mining, and massive trees are being cut down and smuggled to South Lanka, the local people said.
People in the area say that when the police come and arrest them, if they take soil in a cart for their household needs, no one comes and takes any action when the soil is dug illegally by hundreds of tractors a day.
Fishermen in the area report that if they complain to the police that due to the flow of hundreds of ploughing machines through the river, we are not able to fish.
The sand mining gangs come and threaten them on the same day. In addition, farmers have expressed concern that the ongoing illegal excavations have left roads impassable for agricultural workers, making it challenging to carry supplies for fieldwork and flooding their fields due to holes.
An official working in the area said that sometimes if police officials act and arrest illegal sand diggers, the next minute, top police officials issues an order to release them. No one can do anything because high political hands carry out the sand mining in the area.
Some politicians are helping the sand bandits under the guise of development. After visiting the area, R. Chanakyan, a member of parliament from Batticaloa district of the TNA, condemned that the politicinas forgot that our people were being affected by these activities. But despite being brought to the notice of ruling party politicians several times in this regard, people in the area say they have not taken any action so far and have not visited their place.
Continuous sand mining looks like a process of burying the livelihood of the region’s people,
It is our responsibility to stop this over exploitation in the Eastern Province.