‘Sinhalese still occupying properties of Tamils’

No effective steps taken on the issue: Wigneswaran

The Sri Lankan government has not done anything effective to oust the Sinhalese who have illegally occupied the lands and houses of the Tamils ever since they fled the island following ethnic crisis, C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, has said.

During an informal chat with the reporters at Old Courtallam in the district on Saturday, Mr. Wigneswaran said that a few thousand properties of Tamils had been encroached upon by the Sinhalese after the rightful owners of these properties left the nation to save their lives.

Utilising this, the Sinhalese had occupied the properties of Tamil diaspora and the government had taken no effort to evict the illegal occupiers, he said.

No steps have been taken to facilitate the repatriation of over 10 lakh Tamils who had fled to various countries including India following the ethnic crisis.

The Sri Lankan Tamils, who chose to live in the island nation even after the ethnic crisis flared up, were facing serious problems from the Sinhalese. The Tamil fishermen were facing serious problems from the 1.50 lakh-odd armed forces personnel stationed in the North, he said.

However, Mr. Wigneswaran said he was for a unified Sri Lanka for which the people of Northern Province too had extended their support.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are keen on continuing safely till the current regime completes its full tenure in 2020 despite the internal squabbles at the Centre. However, the people of Sri Lanka had their own doubt on the survival of the present government as the internal bickering had become intense after the ruling alliance’s poor show in the recently held local body polls, he said.

On the relationship between Sri Lanka and India, he said that though the neighbours did not have strained relations, the closeness that once prevailed between the two countries was also not there any more. “It may be due to Sri Lanka’s proximity to China,” he said.

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