Colombo/ New Delhi, Dec 16 (): Sri Lanka in spite of repeated and sustained international pressure to address the cause of Tamils and post British PM David Cameron’s visit to war-ravaged Jaffna in November this year (that gave a ray of hope for the distraught Tamils) continues to oppress and exploit Tamils unabatedly, hand-in-glove with India.
India-Sri Lanka joint Power project eats into Tamils’ lands
The recent case in point is the proudly-announced joint venture between India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL) at Sampur in eastern Trincomalee in which NTPC holds equal stakes with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
Though the project is a prized first-of-its-kind international joint venture for NTPC, 800 families, most of whom are Tamils have lost their lands to the upcoming power plant.
The 500-MW capacity power plant is coming up in an area of 500 acres; however,the Sri Lankan government has taken control of lands owned by Tamils located far away from the proposed power project. An additional 1,000 acres of land has been seized by the Sri Lankan government for a privately-owned company, reports The Hindu.
Lankan Navy continues to unleash atrocities on Tamil fishermen
On December 11, the Sri Lankan Navy tried to abduct and take into custody 47 boats and about 325 fishermen while they were fishing near Nagapattinam coast. 15 boats, catch and fishing nets were also seized. While 32 boats with 215 fishermen could get back, 110 fishermen were taken to Trincomalee for further legal action.
The arrested 110 fishermen belonging to Nagappatinam district have been handed over to Trincomalee court which has ordered their custody up to December 24.
Additionally, 30 fishermen in eight boats from Pudukottai district were apprehended by the Lankan Navy on the same day.
Earlier, detention of 30 Tamil fishermen belonging to Pudukkottai and Rameshwaram has been extended for the fourth time up to December 20.
The Sampur coal power project, said to be the largest Indian funded project to be implemented in Sri Lanka comes at a time when Sri Lanka continues to oppress and harass Tamils in their own land and Tamil fishermen in high seas.
The entire fishing community in Tamil Nadu is at a perennial fear of Lankan navy attacks on them in the high seas.
Jayalaithaa-led ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and DMK are expressing concern over repeated attacks on Tamil fishermen robbing them of their source of livelihood. Jayalalithaa has accused New Delhi of a “meek and pusillanimous” response, which, she said, has emboldened the Lankans.
Media reports say that a series of letter exchanges has happened between India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa asking Tamil Nadu CM to arrange a meeting between fishermen’s associations across the Palk Straits. Jayalalithaa though in a letter has expressed support to Dr Manmohan Singh to organize meeting between the fishermen’s associations across the Palk Straits on September 20, has not been able to execute it in action so far.
Meantime, the Tamil fishermen continue to suffer under the Sri Lankan Navy’s brutal atrocities and Tamils continue to lose their identity and land, leading to their living like refugees in their very own soil.