Politics & Current Affairs

Sinhala population in east boosted by 888% due to state aided colonization

State sponsored colonization in Sri Lanka’s Tamil speaking east has drastically changed the demography, an all-party US congress alliance was told by a leading main opposition Tamil lawmaker visiting Washington DC.

The Sinhala population has grown by 888% in Eastern province due to ongoing state-sponsored settlement schemes, said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran addressing the Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka on Tuesday (14).

MA Sumanthiran said this serious issue of diluting of the population and changing demography, has been already admitted by multiple governments.

The TNA parliamentarian also expressed deep frustration over the government not fulfilling its pledges on returning the military occupied land in the Tamil speaking north and east.

Land grab

He recalled Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena promising to release all private land held by the military to their rightful owners.

President Maithripala Sirisena visiting the north last Christmas promised that the land occupied by the military will be released ‘in six months’.

However, “one and a half years since the president coming to power, 70% of private land is still under military occupation,” he said.

'Required numbers'

Sri Lanka ambassador to the United States addressing the Washington meeting discounted the suggestion of military withdrawal.

The army occupying the north and east will remain in ‘required numbers’ said Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam emphasising that they might leave, ‘maybe in one or two years,’.

© JDS