Sri Lankan state sponsored colonisation schemes
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Sri Lankan state sponsored colonisation schemes refers to government backed establishment of Sinhalese communities in regions traditionally considered to be Sri Lankan Tamil lands in the northern or eastern parts of the Sri Lanka. It has been perhaps the most immediate cause of inter-communal violence.
Shortly after independence, the Sinhalese dominated government of Ceylon started a programme to settle peasants in the jungles of Trincomalee District. The forests were cleared and water tanks restored. As a consequence of these schemes the Sinhalese population of Trincomalee District rose from 11,606 (15%) in 1946 to 85,503 (33%) in 1981. In the 1980s the government extended the colonisation schemes into the Dry Zone area of the Northern Province, drawing up plans to settle up to 30,000 Sinhalese in traditionally Tamil land.
Silent state colonization schemes also took place in Historic Tamil areas Amparai and Batticaloa districts where Sinhalese population rose from 61,996 in 1963 when the district was formed to 229,000 by 2007 according to Government census claims."Population statistics in Amparai district in 2007". Retrieved July 15, 2012.
The first colonisation scheme was at Kanthalai Kulam (Kantale) tank where peasants from outside Trincomalee District were settled in the traditional Tamil village of Kanthalai, 39 km south-west of Trincomalee town. 77% of settlers were Sinhalese and the rest were Tamils/Muslims.
The colonisation scheme was extended to Tamil speaking areas of Anuradhapura District. A scheme was started at Pathavik Kulam (Padaviya) tank, 65 km north-east of Anuradhapura town. Parts of the scheme lay in Trincomalee District and as such were annexed to the Sinhalese dominated Anuradhapura District. Land Development Department employees from this scheme took part in the 1958 anti-Tamil riots.
The colonisation scheme was extended into the Northern province with the introduction of the Manal Aru (Weli Oya) scheme, which covered the districts of Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Anuradhapura. Sinhalese were settled in traditionally Tamil land, given land, money to build homes and security provided by the Special Task Force. Although the scheme covered four districts, administration was handled from the Sinhalese dominated Anuradhapura district. The scheme aroused much anger amongst the Tamils. This anger boiled over into violence when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked the Kent and Dollar Farm settlement at Weli Oya, killing 62.
Tens of thousands of landless Sinhala peasants were reported to have been brought in by the advancing SLF and made to occupy local villages and lands, denying resettlement to its original inhabitants who had earlier fled to the jungles due to the murder of Tamil civilians at the hands of the Army.
2000s to Current
From 2000 onwards, Government sponsored colonization accelerated at a very high pace as tens and thousands from the Sinhalese community were given lands to settle in the East.The fall of the LTTE enabled many Sinhalese and Sinhala-speaking Muslims to encroach on Tamil lands in the North much more than the number expelled by the militants.Most of the lands have been forcibly annexed and locals are threatened for raising the issue or organizing demonstrations. Many often lose their lives at the hands of the notorious Special Task Force operated by the Army.
Over 400 families were reported to have been settled in Nelukkulam in Mullativu district as a direct incident of state sponsorship of Sinhala colonization. Another incident of state colonization before the Final Eelam War was reported by Muslim residents of Pulmoddai village who claimed that several acres of their traditional land had been annexed by the Government for settlements from South on the pretext of industrial development.
Sinhala fishermen occupied large amounts of coastal tracts in Vaa'karai following the retreat of the LTTE from the Batticaloa district. The government also assisted the settlements of 107 families in Paddippazhai Division of lands belonging to Tamils. Such aided settlements had affected the lives of the inhabitant Tamil fisher-folk.
Coastlines in the Jaffna, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts have also witnessed extensive large-scale colonization by Sinhalese settlers aided by the SLA systematically intimidating the local Tamil fishermen and depriving them of their livelihoods.
Tamil nationalist websites report ethnic cleansing of Tamils from their territories in the Jaffna peninsula and Mullativu districts  supplemented by construction of Buddhist stupas and Sincalistation of names of streets and places.The Tamil populace has reportedly been reduced to a fourth between 2007 to 2011 according to the Government enumeration.
The SLA and the Buddhist Monks from South have actively engaged in appropriation of centuries-old Saivaite Temples and Inscriptions from the locals leading to the planned destruction of many and building of new Buddhist monuments in places where there are no Buddhists citing a relentless pursuit of colonizing each and every corner of Tamil territories.Mobs and Criminals from South desecrate the ancient idols and loot the jewels and often they are supported by the Military.
Sinhalese has been introduced as a second language supplemented by the construction of scores of Sinhalese-Buddhist schools enjoy the official backing of Sinhalese Army and Sinhalese priest, the latter with a mindset paranoid in capture of power to their institutions to control and oppress the sentiments of the locals.
Locals of both North and East complain of the state of waging an accelerated campaign of Sinhala Buddhist colonisation by destroying historic Hindu shrines in the East.
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