Muslims in the Iqbal Nagar village in Trincomalee allege that the divisional Secretary of Kuchchaveli, backed by a leading TNA Member of Parliament, is making attempts to force them out and settle Tamils in the area by saying they were affected by Tsunami. They say that the divisional secretary is trying to disturb the ethnic proportions in the area by unlawful acts of this nature. Last week the divisional secretary had informed an NGO to clear the area to settle Tamils in the area However, when the Muslim villagers protested the NGO had backed out from the area.
Muslims in the area say that Tamils have more land available in the area for re-settlement while the Muslims have little over 100 acres in the area and that land is more important to them because most of them are fishermen and they need to live closer to the sea. Muslim villagers also say that Tamils in the area backed by the politicians had planned this encroachment long before the tsunami and they are trying to use tsunami to expedite and achieve their sinister objectives to upset the ethnic proportions in the east. .
Villagers also say that a certain politically motivated Tamil group had demarcated 250 acre area saying that it is for the development of the eastern university while only 50 acres were allocated for the eastern university and its further development. Muslim villagers say it is done with the intention of re-settling Tamils in the predominantly Muslim area. This act has deprived the Muslims the access to the beach, especially to the fisherman. The Divisional Secretary had also informed the Muslims in the area to prove their ownership within two days. Muslim villagers say they lived in the area for generations and they fled the area twice during the ethnic clashes in 1983 and 1990 and they were re-settled in the area when normalcy returned.
On Friday, SLMC leader Rauff Hakim wrote to the government agent, Trincomalee, G. Rodrigo saying that there is attempt to create communal disharmony through forcible settlement of alleged tsunami victims in the Iqbal Nagar Kuchchaveli GS division.