The Sinhalese Of The North And East

There is a strip of land about 24 kilometers long that extends westward from the fishing village of Kokilai on the Eastern Coast. This strip of land which constitutes the District coundary of the Mullaitivu and Trincomalee Districts is the only part of Sri Lanka where the Northern Province meets the Eastern Province. Around this strip of land is the area known as 'Weli Oya'. Weli Oya is also an area where four District Boundaries, namely those of Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Anuradhapura meet. The entire Weli Oya area is inhabited by Sinhalese, the majority of whom are subsistence farmers. The presence of these Sinhalese at the junction of the North and East has prevented and continues to prevents the LTTE cadres from moving freely from the North to the East. The number of lives that have been saved by the presence of these Sinhalese in Weli Oya is inestimable. From the point of view of the secessionist war, Weli Oya is an area of immense strategic importance.

Beginning with the genocidal attacks on the Dollar and Kent Farms in the Weli Oya area on the 30th November 1984, the innocent Sinhalese residents of this area who, unlike the despicable Sinhalese thugs in places like Colombo, never harmed even a hair of a single Tamil civilian, have been the targets of regular and unceasing genocidal attacks by the LTTE. There is hardly a family in Weli Oya which has not a member, a relative, a neighbour or a friend who was murdered or maimed by the LTTE terrorists, or otherwise suffered at their hands. Yet most, of these People are men of stoic courage wedded to their lands - nothing the Tigers did could make them flee. Acting as 'home guards' they faced repeated onslaughts of Tigers armed with rocket propelled grenades, automatic weapons, mortars and grenades,with shot guns and antiquated .303 rifles of World War One vintage until the Army could come to their aid. Together with the Army and the Police they kept the Tiger at bay. The toll of their dead and their maimed is as long as it is pathetic.

It is not only the Sinhalese villagers of Weli Oya who so kept the Tiger at bay. Their counterparts in numerous other Sinhalese villages in the Districts of Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Ampara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Moneragala did likewise. They suffered death, they suffered mutilation, they suffered the destruction of their humble homes, their crops and their belongings, but would not yield.

It is only when the history of this dark era in the life of our Country comes to be written that our People as a whole and those living in the comfort and relative security of Colombo and other parts of the Country will realise the awesome magnitude of the contribution made by these humble men, women and children to the final defeat of the LTTE and the preservation of our Land. The entire Sri Lankan Nation owes to these doughty patriots a debt of gratitude it can never ever adequately repay.

Among those who are most indebted to these Sinhalese civilians are the members of the racist Tamil Parties such as the TULF, PLOTE, TELO, EPRLF, ACTC, ENDLF and EPDP who would never have been able to even visit most parts of their alleged 'exclusive Homeland' but for the contribution made by these Sinhalese residents of the North and East to the defeat of the Tigers. Yet all people do not honour their debts - there are some people who would even turn with limitless savagery on those who were their benefactors.

It would be idle to expect any of the racist Tamil Parties called 'moderates' to ever admit or acknowledge their debt to these Sinhalese residents of the North and East. Wedded as they, together with the LTTE, are to the pernicious fiction that the North and East constitute the 'exclusive homeland of the Tamils', their entire political history is marked by their single-minded hostility to these Sinhalese residents of the North and East. Even the patron 'saint' of the Tamil secessionists, S. J. V. Chelvanayakam villified the Sinhalese settlers in Peasant Settlement Schemes in the North and East as 'encroachers', 'aggressors', 'plunderers' and 'usurpers' more than four decades ago.

These Parties realise full well that just as much as these Sinhalese residents of the North and East proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to the LTTE in their march to the creation of a separate state, so also will those self-same Sinhalese prove to be a similar obstacle to them when they themselves launch their final putsch for a separate state.

Not only have none of these parties ever acknowledged their indebtedness to these Sinhalese, or even to our Armed Forces, for making it possible for them to return to their alleged 'exclusive homeland', but they have not even acknowledged the right of any Sinhalese settled in any 'Peasant Settlement Scheme' in the North and East, be it at Weli Oya or elsewhere, to remain in their homes, or undertaken to protect them and treat them equally with the Tamils in the event of the 'Package' being implemented.

What will be the fate of the Sinhalese residents of the North and East, and in particular of those settlers in Peasant Settlement Schemes, if the 'Package' is implemented ?? They will be ruled by a Regional Administration composed of those who have always been overtly hostile to them in respect of every matter that affects their day to day lives; they will have to look to an armed Regional Police Service for their personal security while that Police Service will be controlled by that hostile Regional Administration and have in its ranks some of the self-same LTTE terrorists who murdered their kith and kin and against whom they had defended their lands; they will have to look for justice to a Regional Judiciary controlled by political favourites of that same Regional Administration, while the Government of the Republic of Sri Lanka would be powerless to come to their aid and assistance in any manner howsoever in respect of any matter whatsoever.

Once a racist Tamil Party assumes office in the Regional Council of the North and East there can be little doubt that the days of the Sinhalese residents of those Provinces will be numbered. Having regard to the vast array of subjects in respect of which exclusive powers are to be vested in the Regional Councils it will not even be necessary for the Regional Administration to use any overt violence on these Sinhalese to complete the task of ethnic cleansing that the LTTE commenced - it could and probably would be done by total administrative neglect. If the tanks and irrigation channels in and around Sinhalese villages are not repaired and maintained; if water from tanks is not released to them in time for cultivation; if their roads are not maintained and public transport not provided; if teachers are not appointed to their schools or doctors to their hospitals; if schools are not provided with basic equipment, or hospitals with drugs; and if crimes committed against them are neither investigated nor the offenders brought to book; for how long could the Sinhalese of the North and East remain in their homes ??

The end resiult of the implementation of the 'Package' as far as Sinhalese Residents of the North and East are concerned will indisputably be that they will sooner or later be rewarded for their monumental contribution to the defeat of the LTTE (which alone will make the Package capable of implementation) by being forced out of their hearths, their homes and their lands.

The consequence to ethnic harmony in the rest of the Country upon the eviction of these Sinhalese from the North and East is better imagined than described.


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