Sinhala Buddhist extremists, with the backing of the occupying Sri Lankan government in Colombo, have planned to appropriate about six hundred acres of paddy fields belonging to Muslims and Tamils in Pasarich-cheanai in Poththuvil electorate in Ampaa’rai district, claiming that the said lands belong to Sinhala Buddhists.
The paddy fields are located east of Naavilaa’ru at Poovarasadith-thoaddam in Poththuvil DS division. The Tamil-speaking farmers have been doing cultivation in these lands for more than five decades, civil sources said.
A group of Buddhist monks accompanied by Sri Lankan commandos of the Special Task Force (STF) entered the paddy fields on 16th May while Muslim and Tamil farmers were clearing their lands for the next season and ordered them to leave the area immediately. The STF commandos also threatened the Tamil-speaking civilians that they would face ‘serious consequences’ if they disregarded the instruction.
Since then, the Tamil and Muslim farmers are keeping themselves away from visiting their paddy fields although they are in possession of legal documents to prove their ownership.
The affected Tamils and Muslims have now appealed to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Party General Secretary Mr. Hassan Ali to intervene in this dispute and to ensure their safety and the legal right to do cultivation in their lands.