|Dear nightfox come now quoting one side of the story to try and air brush away the sordid history of your rulers is it?
In 1931, under the Donoughmore Constitution, D S Senanayake became the Minister of Agriculture and Lands. In 1933, Senanayake presented to the State Council an ordinance to provide for the systematic development and alienation of Crown land.
In 1936, he arranged to examine the entire valley area of Pattipalai Aru (in Tamil - Aru means river). Subsequently, with a total investment of the then equivalent of US$67.2 million, an earthen dam was constructed across the river at Inginiyagala to form a large reservoir, which was called the Gal-Oya multi-purpose project. Nowadays, the reservoir is called Senanayaka Samudra (Samudra - sea). The building of the dam was entrusted to a firm of American engineers, Morrison Knudsen of San Francisco, and they completed the project in 1947.
The dam was 3,600 feet long and 154 feet tall at its highest point. It was the idea of J S Kennedy, the Director of Irrigation, to have a deep-water reservoir rather than a wide one, in order to prevent loss of water by evaporation.
Thousands of acres of jungle were cleared and blocked into small units. Huts for the colonists were erected on high land and low-lying lands were allocated for paddy cultivation. Thousands of Sinhalese families were moved from the Southwestern parts of the country and settled on land belonged to the Tamils. The land settlement and land development laws, which had existed since British rule, insisted that beneficiaries of such schemes must be selected from among people of the district where the scheme was launched. Thousands of Tamil families who lived in the Southern district of Batticaloa, were virtually forced to move out of the region to give way to the Sinhalese colonization.
With the outbreak of World War II, rice imports from Burma became irregular, and finally stopped. The need for the cultivation of paddy was urgently felt. In 1948, Parliament allocated Rs700 million for the restoration of abandoned tanks, such as the Padavilkulam, Kantalai, Huruluwewa, Kandalama and Kaudulla tanks.
The Government took up the restoration of Allai Kulam (Kulam in Tamil means - tank) in the Trincomalee district. Also, they restored the Kantalai Kulam in the Trincomalee district, which was an ancient irrigation tank that had silted up and fallen in disuse during the centuries of colonial rule. Another was the Padavil Kulam in Sinhalese - Padaviya, where there lay the fertile lands of West and North of Trincomalee. These three tanks were restored, forests were cleared and blocked into units for Sinhalese colonists, who were brought from the south, thus purposely changing the demographic map of the Tamil region.
Prime Minister D S Senanayake, in his independence day anniversary broadcast on February 4, 1951, declared, ''Colonization of land development activities are going at full speed and we are now able to bring more (Sinhala) colonists to lands that have been fully developed and provided with irrigation and other facilities than we have ever done before.''
-Asia Times - http://www.atimes.com/ind-pak/CK17Df01.html
Edited By - Revy - 20 Aug 2007 20:38:31 GMT