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Vidathal Thivu, Uppukkulam, Konthaipitti: Could You Please Open Your Eyes Just This Once?


By Nadarajah Kuruparan

Vidathal Thivu, Uppukkulam, Konthaipitti: Could You Please Open Your Eyes Just This Once?


Recently a property claim issue over a vaadi house in Mannar was distorted as a conflict between minority groups. It was charged that matters were operated by the dead souls of the Tigers or their followers. Thus slogans were raised that the Tigers were obstructing the settlement of the Muslims. 
This issue could have been easily settled through sincere administrative approach. By distorting such an ordinary issue with ethnic colors, yet another political suicide has been staged. 
Regarding this, I tried to point out certain important things in my earlier article ‘Rishad Bathiyutheen and the Repose of the Tiger Souls’. Those who did not understand them clearly and those who refuse to understand have rebuked me with such terms as ‘a biased journalist’, ‘a paper Tiger’ and ‘an exile Tiger’. To my self-knowledge I am following media ethics. When I happen to make mistakes, I don’t hesitate to admit or correct them. I will remain so. Global Tamil News does not fail to point out the anti-democratic tendencies and political mistakes of the Tigers even after their elimination. The bedrock of our media is that the oppressed minorities should attain their rights and, as persons and groups, should have mutual recognition and respect internally as well as with the majority community without losing their identities. When anything detrimental to this is done, it is my propensity as well as my duty as a media person to publicize it, of course, with evidences. The genuine readers of our website and the political activists who know me know this. It is only with this attitude that I approached the Mannar issue. The following are in response to the criticisms on my article. 
Dear Muslim brothers, we the Tamils were responsible for many political errors in the last three decades as we were entangled in illusions and failed to reprove our power center. We are going to endure the consequences for another half a century. We were modest and thought of ourselves too small to criticize the reactionary aspects of Tamil nationalism and we are now suffering.
Dear Muslim journalists and Muslim intellectuals, we had delimited the boundaries for criticizing the leaders who are engaged in the struggle against the common enemy because they belong to the oppressed minorities. Now we are facing the consequences of that mistake. 
Please learn one thing very clearly from our experiences. The self-centered politicians are trying to exploit the agitative feelings of the innocent Muslims to promote their own interests. If you fail to identify this rightly and nip it in the bud, you will only be destined to our position within five or ten years. 
Well, let us come to the point. Details of land encroachment by the government and military are furnished below. 
In Mannar district, the military has taken into control some 300 acres of lands belonging to the Muslim people. In the Musali region 56 acres of lands belonging to the Bishop House and more than 50 acres of fertile lands belonging to Muslim people have been taken into control by the navy. They cultivate some 50 acres of these lands. It is also said that their families have settled in these agricultural lands. 
A tender notice inviting for windmill establishment in 500 acres has been issued by the Division of the District Secretary in Mannar. Of these more than 300 acres belong to civilians. About 150 acres belong to Muslims.
Ten acres of land belonging to Muslims in the region of Mannar Nadukkuda are in the control of the navy. 
In Manthai East, 3500 acres have been marked by the Survey Department for military training institute. Of these, about 600 acres are said to be belonging to Muslims by Aatchi Muthisa Uruthi or Yappan Uruthi. However, this could not be confirmed.
Thus, dear Muslim brothers, it is this government that has grabbed your lands and it is in this government that Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen shines as the most trustable partner. Ask him why he could not retrieve these lands to you. 
Apart from the lands in the Musali region, 56 acres belonging to the Bishop House has been taken by the naval head office. The Bishop House land marked for the 25 House Scheme has been occupied by the army camp. If it is true that Bishop Rayappu Yoseppu is reining the Mannar area, why couldn’t he retrieve these lands? The fact is that there is no other rule in Mannar than the rule of the state and its supporters. 
If the obstructers of Muslim people’s settlement are the rebirths of Tigers or their followers, then the military personnel and their leaders who have grabbed your lands and Rishad Bathiyutheen, who is part of the government that controls the military and who is the Chairman of the Mannar Development Council, should all be branded as the followers of the Tigers. 
The Tigers, at least, expressed their regret about evacuating you. But these people will never express any regret for whatever injustice they have done and are doing. 
The place where you have now been resettled in Konthaipitti belongs to the National Highways. Has this land near the shore extending to the Mannar Castle been provided to you through proper administrative procedures? 
By which notification has the government allotted this land for your settlement? It was Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen who ordered the District Secretary to provide this land to you. Without following any administrative procedure like cabinet approval or Varthamani arivithal, this land has been given to you. If the government gets changed in the next term, the new Minister of Environment may evacuate you stating that this land that was given to you without any proper administrative procedure actually belongs to the National Highways. The present minister will not be there to help you.  
I would like to remind you another thing. The government has rejected the claims on lands that were given by the Tigers during their rein. It has also rejected all the judicial decisions rendered by them. Without any legally valid documents, you are claiming the Konthaipitti land solely on the basis of your occupation of it. Any administrative official could reject your claim stating that it has no legal validity. Have you ever thought of the political agenda operating behind the strategy of not approaching this as an administrative issue, but as an ethnic issue? Pleas think. 
More than 1000 acres of forestal lands in Mannar belonging to the Forest Department are being deforested with bulldozers under the order of Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen. This has no approval of any sort. If asked, they simply say that it is by the order of the President. The Forest Department says that it is the higher order. The district government agent and other authorities keep silence. Those who are close to the Minister say that this land is for settling the Muslims. Instead of recovering the fertile lands taken over by the government and military, they are deforesting 1000 acres of woodlands in the district. Shouldn’t we ponder about the environmental consequences?
The Land Utilization and Distribution Council meeting was held in the Manthai City Division on 31.07.2012. It is common to hold such meetings in all the divisions of the district and send the decisions to the district authority, which sends them to the Governor seeking approval for land utilization. There was strong objection to the above said deforestation at the district level. Likewise, the government has questioned the district administration about the legal validity of land utilization regarding 5422 acres. 
Thus, the lands belonging to the Bishop House, private parties, Muslims and Tamils are day by day taken over by the government and the military. As the Minister and his associates could not prevent it, they simply distort the issue by blaming on the bishop and the judge. They are politicizing the issue calling down the imaginary ‘Tigers’ and ‘their rebirths’. We only questioned the obliquity of this action. Could you please open your eyes just this once?
Details of Land Encroachment by the Government and Military in Mannar District
The Mannar district is the richest district in the northern region having both fishery and agricultural resources. With an area of 2002.5 square kilometers, it is administered by five District Secretary Divisions. Many fertile lands of this district are being taken over by the government and the military day by day. As a result, the civil life of the people of this district is affected and their livelihood and resources are diminishing. 
It has been three years now since the declaration of the end of war. But land grabbing by the government and military continues in new forms. These are either private lands or government lands. The details as we received are given as per the District Secretary Divisions hereunder.
Mannar District Secretary Division
  • 500 acres for windmills through Varthamani notification – more than 300 acres private lands – from Thazhvupadu Kadarkarai to Kattukkaran Kudiyiruppu
  • Birds sanctuary – more than 15 thousand acres – from Nagathazhvu to Vangalai front at Mannar City Gate
  • 272 acres requested for airbase – from Thalladi to Thiruketheeswaram
  • More than 9 acres belonging to Konthaipitti Harbor Corporation – for police / military 
  • 5 acres at the Engineering College, Thalaimannar Street – for special task force
  • South Bar private land – 5 acres for military camp
  • Thalladi Koviladi, Thalladi Camp – private land – more than 15 acres
  • Pallimunai 25 house scheme – 6 houses – military camp
  • Mannar Gate and Cooperative Society building campus – military camp for more than 20 years
Military Occupancy in the Lands of Mannar Region
  • Thalaimannar village – 5 acres – navy
  • Kurusuppadu – 5 acres – naval forces
  • Kattukkaran Kudiyiruppu – 2 acres – navy
  • Selvapuram – 12 Arasani – army
  • Nadukkuda – 10 acres – navy
  • Pesalai (FR CO-OP) – 20 acres – army
  • Pesalai Vetri Makkal Kudiyiruppu – 10 acres – navy
  • Pesalai 4th Region – 5 acres – navy
  • Pesalai Main Street – 2 acres – police station
  • Siruthoppu – 5 acres – navy
  • Geerisanivilach – 8 acres – navy
Maanthai West 
  • The Survey Department has marked 3500 acres in Sannar for military training institute
  • Parappukkadanathan – 3 acres – military camp
  • Aandankulam - Cooperative Society land – 1 acre – military camp
  • Salamban Sandhi – private land – 0.5 acre – military camp
  • Kalliyadi – 25 acres – 542 military head office - 3 acres private land
  • Koorai – 5 acres Irrigation Department land
  • Padaguthurai – 3 acres government land – navy
  • Nayatruveli – 2 acres government land
  • Moondrampitti – 3 acres private land – military
Military Occupancy in the Lands of Naanaattaan
For military camps
  • Parikarikandal – 5 acres 
  • Aruviyaru, Achankulam – 2 acres – (Application)
  • S.M.K. Adamban – 1 acre
  • Murungan – 4 acres
  • Pericharkattu – 4 acres
  • Madukkarai – 4 acres – (Application)
  • Naduvilikulam – 4 acres - (Application)
  • Achankulam – 1 acre
For naval forces
  • Pasripuri – 10 acres – naval camp
  • Naruvilikulam – 2 acres (10 acres)
  • Achankulam – 1 acre
  • Eruvittan – 0.5 acre
  • K.S. Morais private land – 0.75 acre
For police
  • Vangalai – Stanislas Talima 20
  • Vangalai – Yugin Talima – 20p
  • Vangalai – Dasan Lempet – 20p
  • Vangalai – Robert Lempet – 20p
  • Vangalai – David Piris – 20p
  • Murungan – Tabulingam (including private land) – 0.25 acre
  • Irattaikulam – Fernado 13.4 acres
Military Occupancy in the Lands of Madu District Secretary Division
  • Palampitti – 14 acres government land – military
  • Kunjukulam – 600 acres – military
  • Iranai Iluppaikulam – more than 10 acres – military
  • Mankindi – more than 10 acres – military
Military Occupancy in the Lands of Musali District Secretary Division
  • Silavathurai – 25 acres private land – military
  • Arippu – 4 acres – naval camp
  • Police forces – 10 acres – naval camp
  • Mullikulam – Bishop’s land 56 acres
  • Public and private lands – 30 acres, agricultural lands – 25 acres

விடத்தல்தீவு- உப்புக்குளம்- கோந்தைபிட்டி- எங்கே ஒருதரம் விழிகளை இங்கே திறவுங்கள் - நடராஜா குருபரன்

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