[TamilNet, Monday, 28 December 2015, 16:14 GMT]
Colombo’s colonial Governor to Eastern Province, Austin Fernando, who is a former Defence Secretary of the occupying Sri Lankan military, is working behind the scene to settle Sinhala colonisers in Batticaloa district. A settlement is being schemed close to the railway station at Punaa’nai. The nearby ‘Sinhapura’ military camp situated on Batticaloa – Colombo Road is being transferred into a Sinhala military cantonment. Additional lands to the extent of 1,500 acres have been seized for this military purpose. Both the sides of the road stretching to 1.5 km along the main road have been fenced off with barbed-wire. There were only five Sinhala families at Pu’naanai before 1990. Now, 29 families have been settled down. The SL Governor has instructed the SL civil officials to increase the figure to 56 families in the near future.
UNP politician Austin Fernando also serves the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena (SLFP) as an advisor on ‘reconciliation’ affairs.
Fernando’s appointment as Eastern Province SL Governor, replacing Rajpaksa-appointed military governor, was done with Trincomalee-related geo-political considerations by the new regime in Colombo, Tamil civil sources in Trincomalee told TamilNet.
In the meantime, UNP national list parliamentarian Ameer Ali Shihabdeen from Batticaloa, who is affiliated with the notorious SL minister Rishath Bathiutheen from Mannaar, is also being given access to seize lands to transform the demography of Koa’ra’laippattu North (Vaakarai) area, which was earlier under the control of the LTTE. The relatives of SL Minister Ameer Ali are involved in occupying the lands, informed sources further said. There are also plans to annex these lands with Koa’ra’laippattu Central, which is a Muslim division.
Mr Fernando has given instructions to divisional secretaries to cooperate with Ameer Ali’s plans in Koa’ra’laip-pattu, the sources further said stating that the UNP politicians are targeting to change the demography of the Tamil settlements in Batticaloa district. The TNA parliamentarians have failed to address the issue, the civil officials further said.
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