Around 75 acres of lands that belonged to Eezham Tamils in the past are now being taken over by the SL authorities. The colonists are attempting to seize a vast area up to Kanthaasaami-temple which is situated close to Kokku'laay lagoon. At the same time, it also expands to Pulmoaddai, the people say.
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]
The place name Pa'nikka-vayal means the agricultural lands that belonged to Pa'nikkars, who were engaged in catching elephants for kings and chieftains, and later for European colonial rulers.
There was a lake close to Pa'nikka-vayal. Now, the colonists have started cultivation inside the marshlands of the lagoon itself, the sources said. The colonisers also plot to put up a new road and other infrastructure necessary to create a village.
Already, the Sinhala settlers have converted the Tamil-speaking village known as 10th Mile Post into a Sinhala village, now known as Mee-gas-wewa.
Tamil village of Thennaimaravadi and Tamil-speaking Muslim villages in Pulmoaddai are being systematically targeted through demographic changes taking place through the bordering Padavi Sri Pura Sinhala division
Ethnic pattern of administrative divisions in Trincomalee district [Image courtesy: SL Department of Census and Statistics, Trincomalee District, - Preliminary Report - Based on Special Enumeration - 2007]
Unable to withstand the pressure, he agreed to lease the lands on the short-term to Sinhala farmers, who later stepped the colonisation of Thennai-maravadi.
During the late 1980's and at the beginning of 90's, more Sinhala villagers were brought across the border of Padavi Sri Pura division into Thennai-maravadi.
The late Lt Gen Denzel Kobbekaduwa was the mastermind behind the colonisation at that time. Kobbekaduwa was claiming that he was giving protection to Sinhala villagers from the LTTE (He was killed by the LTTE in a landmine ambush at Araalith-thu'rai in Jaffna on 08 August 1992).
However, the Tamil armed struggle which evolved into full-fledged military warfare temporarily checkmated the ambitions of the Sinhala Buddhist Establishment during the times of the LTTE.
There were only 412 Sinhala people (1.6%) in the entire Kuchchave'li division in 2007, according to the statistics obtained from the District Secretariat of Trincomalee.
But, in 2012 the Sinhala population tripled reaching 3.6%. Now, it is much higher, Tamil officials in Kuchchave'li say.
The SL military is still playing the central role in bringing Sinhala colonists into Thennai-maravadi.