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Salt on Old Wounds: The systematic Sinhalization of Sri Lanka`s North, East, the historic habitat of the Tamil speaking people. State sponsored Sinhala colonization in the name of Development and Reconciliation. (PART 1).

Sunday, 25 March 2012 - 8:54 AM SL Time


The most important element of the process of Sinhalization is the continued militarization of many aspects of civilian life. While this is a national phenomenon, it is most aggressively practiced in the Tamil majority areas of the country. Even though at present it is the North and the East that are MOST MILITARIZED, creeping militarization is also evidenced in the Hill Country. As set out in the report, militarization is an effective tool used by the State to gain and maintain both government and Sinhala monopoly of various aspects of day to day life, including the provision of services by civil administration, economic activities and civic activities in Tamil majority areas. It also helps create and maintain a sense of fear within the Tamil community.

RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCE:

Today, in the Northern Province, there is evidence that under the purview of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) the same strategy, ONE THAT FAVORS THE ETHNIC MAJORITY AT THE EXPENSE OF TAMILS, is being utilized. Just as State-planned policies fomented Sinhalization and strategic Sinhalese settlement in the past (under the auspices of Gal Oya, the Mahaweli plan, and other initiatives), the State is now able to initiate similar objectives which are coordinated by PTF.

Created in May of 2009, this opaque nineteen-member body regulates all reconstruction and development activities in the Northern Province. The PTF, which includes NOT EVEN A SINGLE TAMIL or woman member, ensures that all reconstruction and development projects are vetted and approved by the Sri Lankan State. Even though a `Special Government Gazette notification` was issued in May of 2009, there does not appear to be any existing legal framework that supports the PTF. The PTF holds extensive powers yet the legality of such a body remains dubious. According to the Sri Lankan State:

`Mainly the Task Force is subjected to co-ordinate activities of the security agencies of the, Government in support of resettlement, rehabilitation and development and to liaise with all organizations in the public and private sectors and civil society organizations for the proper implementation of programs and projects`

Through the PTF, the Sri Lankan State has deliberately created a non-transparent, ever-changing, burdensome regulatory framework, generally encouraging projects related to tangible outputs like infrastructure hardware, while rarely approving projects on psychosocial counseling, trainings in emotional wellness or human rights education (`software`) the access of some humanitarian and development agencies to the North---further underscoring the central government`s questionable approach towards post-war development in the Northern Province. While many times hardware projects are approved, software projects are frequently rejected. This invariably means that many Tamils in the Northern Province do not have access to services (like counseling) that they need the most. As Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake has noted:

`The military mindset that has led to the concentration of power at the centre in Colombo under the Presidential Task Force for Reconstruction in the North and East headed by Basil Rajapaksa, the president`s brother, is counter-productive to locally owned and equitable economic development, public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurship by the local business community in peace time. Central government control of development policy-making and the lack of fiscal devolution means that the regions, provinces and local people lack ownership or control and are often denied the benefits of economic development done in their name.`

While the analytical foundation underpinning the PTF is consistent with decades of State planning, the creation of the PTF can also be traced directly to the final phases of the civil war. Ever since that time, the State has waged a massive diplomatic campaign to avoid international scrutiny of its security forces` attacks on civilians and the extra-judicial killing of surrendered LTTE members and combatants. In July of 2010, UN`s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed a panel of three experts to probe alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during the final phase of the war. After the Sri Lankan State denied permission to the panel to conduct its own investigations in Sri Lanka, the panel called for written submissions of evidence of war crimes from sources within the country. The Sri Lankan State likely suspected that NGOs operating in the former theaters of combat would convey evidence of war crimes to UN investigators. According to one employee of a national NGO operating in Sri Lanka restrictions have been placed on the UN `because they were accusing them (The State) of mass murder.`

Consequently, the State`s clear suspicion of NGOs has translated into an ever more burdensome system of regulations since the end of the ethnic conflict. Aside from establishing the PTF shortly after civil war ended, the central government also brought the NGO Secretariat, another body which must also approve of project plans within the purview of the Ministry of Defence.


Consequently, the rules and regulations surrounding the PTF encourage development practitioners to implement projects which do not always reflect the needs of community members living in the Northern Province. By creating the PTF, the State has successfully established (though to a lesser extent) a climate of fear amongst international development practitioners as many foreign staff fear deportation and the possibility of losing employment if do not adhere to the rules of the PTF or the NGO Secretariat. The need to gain PTF permission for projects has meant that some development organizations have been willing to `lower the bar` and/or craft projects that they know will be approved by the PTF, including State-sponsored settlements.

Quite recently, the Presidential Task force has been explicitly encouraging development agencies to focus on certain issues and `areas` that the State believes are most important. This is evidenced by a December 22, 2011 letter written by Mr. S.B. Divaratne, Secretary to the PTF. THE LETTER EXPLICITLY CALLS FOR HUMANITARIAN AND AID AGENCIES TO HELP (MOSTLY) SINHALESE PEOPLE `RETURN` TO THE HISTORICALLY TAMIL DISTRICT OF MULLAITIVU. Mr. Divaratne mentions that this is a group of Sinhalese who were a part of the state`s Weli Oya project decades ago. Unsurprisingly, this project area falls under the `Mahaveli zone.`

The day before Mr. Divaratne issued the abovementioned letter, he sent another letter outlining the State`s priorities vis- -vis development policy for the coming year in which the State has asked `UN agencies and NGOs` to focus on less recent cases of displacement in the Northern Province, including Sinhala families displaced from the Province in 1980swith LTTE attacks on civilians.` In an obvious move to placate the international community and human rights activists, the letter also emphasized the need to help Muslim families who were compelled to leave the Province in 1990.

STATE-SPONSORED SETTLEMENT OF SINHALESE IN HISTORICALLY TAMIL AREAS IS SUCH A WELL-ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF STATE POLICY WHICH HAS BEEN NORMALIZED THAT IT MAY, AT TIMES, BE OVERLOOKED (OR IGNORED) BY THE GENERAL POPULACE AND EVEN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. As mentioned above, in the past, prominent international aid organizations, including USAID and UNDP and the FAO to name a few, have actively promoted the State`s policy of Sinhalization in the form of both technical and financial assistance.

In post-war Sri Lanka, history is repeating itself ethnic Tamils are being excluded from the development process, especially in the Northern Province. Distressingly, when international NGOs cooperate with such policies, State-backed extremist Sinhala Buddhist objectives are legitimized, strengthened and allowed to grow.



Source(s)
Salt on Old Wounds: Post-War Sri Lanka

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Thivya
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 01:55:16 GMT  Report for Abuse  
THE DELIBERATE SETTLEMENT OF SINHALESE PEOPLE IN HISTORICALLY TAMIL AREAS:

The Sri Lankan State has a long history of using reconstruction and development plans that encourage and/or help Sinhalese people to settle in historically Tamil areas.

Over the years 'Land Development Scheme' have played significant role in allowing the Sri Lankan State to justify state-sponsored Sinhalization. These lands were distributed in order to carry out various settlement plans, particularly in historically Tamil areas. There were many types of schemes including those related to: village expansion, youth development, agriculture, irrigation and fisheries. However, these schemes were less effective at fostering genuine development and more effective at settling Sinhalese people in historically Tamil areas. It is important to remember that funds for these projects did not just come from the State they also came from foreign countries and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Land schemes began in earnest after Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948 with D.Senanayake, the Minister of Agriculture and Lands from 1931-1947, leading the way. Land located near Pattipalai, Kaluwanchchikudy, Batticaloa was renamed as 'Gal Oya.' At least as it relates to land, this constitutes the formal beginning of State-sponsored Sinhalization in the country's Eastern Province. In the post-independence era, one of the first development projects inaugurated by the Government of Sri Lanka was the development of Gal Oya Valley, a part of Gal Oya basin.

At its inception, the Gal Oya project was the 'largest settlement and resettlement' program that had ever been attempted in Sri Lanka. Under this project, more than 80,000 Sinhalese people settled into predominantly Tamil areas from 1949 to 1952 and Sinhalese settlement continued in the 1960s. As Muggah notes:

'Each Gal Oya colony benefited from the welfarist tradition accompanying colonization schemes in Sri Lanka. Every unit was provided with an educational facility, village hall, recreation centre,cooperative market and related extension services.'

Such a plan discriminated against ethnic Tamils, as they were largely excluded from these colony units. The Gal Oya project is a paragon of the 'development' policies that the State has always adhered to, one that favors Sinhalese people and infringes upon the constitutional rights of ethnic Tamils. The State's plan for its Mahaveli Development and Irrigation Programme was even more 'ambitious.'

Thivya
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 01:58:29 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Salt on Old Wounds: The Systematic Sinhalization of Sri Lanka's North, East and Hill Country the first study published by The Social Architects (TSA), seeks to set out the systematic, increasing and widespread process of Sinhalization that is taking place in historically Tamil areas in the North, East and Hill Country in post-war Sri Lanka. While focusing on the process of Sinhalization that is currently being implemented, this monograph seeks to situate it within the broader historical process of Sinhalization that has been carried out by different governments spanning a number of decades.



The report argues that even though Sinhalization is not a new phenomenon, the sweeping changes which continue to occur in historically Tamil areas inhibit the country s ability to heal after nearly three decades of civil war. Although the current government s rhetoric gives importance to building bridges between communities by ensuring those affected are able to fully and freely exercise their rights, in reality, its actions are evidence of the Sri Lankan State s lack of respect for the rights of all its citizens, particularly the Tamil people.



This paper will show that the concept of Sinhalization extends well beyond the subjects of strategic state-planned settlements, land, military intrusion, boundary changes and the renaming of villages. Sinhalization has made its way into Tamil cultural events, religious life, economic activity, public sector recruitment and even the Sri Lankan education system. Since the Tamil community is attempting to recover from the devastating impact of the civil war and rebuild social networks and community structures, attempts to control and demolish socio-cultural aspects of their lives, such as the take over and destruction of temples, inhibit their attempts to engage in emotional healing and community regeneration even minimally.



The most important element of the process of Sinhalization is the continued militarization of many aspects of civilian life. While this is a national phenomenon, it is most aggressively practiced in the Tamil majority areas of the country. Even though at present it is the North and the East that are most militarized, creeping militarization is also evidenced in the Hill Country. As set out in the report, militarization is an effective tool used by the State to gain and maintain both government and Sinhala monopoly of various aspects of day to day life, including the provision of services by civil administration, economic activities and civic activities in Tamil majority areas. It also helps create and maintain a sense of fear within the Tamil community.



Nearly three years following the end of the civil war, state polices such as those discussed in this report have deepened existing feelings of fear, suspicion and mistrust between and within communities rather than creating more understanding amongst them, exacerbated ethnic tensions and further polarized the country. The current government which has exploited the war victory, a weak and fragmented opposition, and a two-third s majority in parliament, is no longer beholden to its constituents. Instead, it has evolved into a semi-authoritarian populist regime with little tolerance for dissent. In this context, rising Sinhala nationalism and the concomitant disregard for Tamil rights means that members of this community are unable to even voice their needs and concerns, let alone express dissent and protest against restrictions imposed upon them.



This paper is not meant to be an exhaustive discourse on Sinhalization or Extremist Sinhala Buddhist ideology. Rather its purpose is to inform, educate and provide clear, convincing evidence that, with the explicit backing of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, State- sponsored Sinhalization has been increasing in Tamil majority areas in post-war Sri Lanka.




If you wish to view or print the following PDF, please click the link below or view it as a PDF.



http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2012/03/20/salt-on-old-wounds-post-war-sri-lanka





Edited By - Thivya - 25 Mar 2012 02:00:30 GMT
Thivya
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 02:02:14 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Quite recently, the Presidential Task force has been explicitly encouraging development agencies to focus on certain issues and 'areas' that the State believes are most important. This is evidenced by a December 22, 2011 letter written by Mr. S.B. Divaratne, Secretary to the PTF. THE LETTER EXPLICITLY CALLS FOR HUMANITARIAN AND AID AGENCIES TO HELP (MOSTLY) SINHALESE PEOPLE 'RETURN' TO THE HISTORICALLY TAMIL DISTRICT OF MULLAITIVU. Mr. Divaratne mentions that this is a group of Sinhalese who were a part of the state's Weli Oya project decades ago. Unsurprisingly, this project area falls under the 'Mahaveli zone.'


STATE-SPONSORED SETTLEMENT OF SINHALESE IN HISTORICALLY TAMIL AREAS IS SUCH A WELL-ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF STATE POLICY WHICH HAS BEEN NORMALIZED THAT IT MAY, AT TIMES, BE OVERLOOKED (OR IGNORED) BY THE GENERAL POPULACE AND EVEN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. As mentioned above, in the past, prominent international aid organizations, including USAID and UNDP and the FAO to name a few, have actively promoted the State's policy of Sinhalization in the form of both technical and financial assistance.

In post-war Sri Lanka, history is repeating itself ethnic Tamils are being excluded from the development process, especially in the Northern Province. Distressingly, when international NGOs cooperate with such policies, State-backed extremist Sinhala Buddhist objectives are legitimized, strengthened and allowed to grow.

Marksman
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 02:45:42 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Owaaaaa owaaaaaaaa owaaaaaaaa shniff shnifff owaaaaaa owaaaaaaa
poppy09
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 03:03:36 GMT  Report for Abuse  
'Thank you white Master Thank you! WeTamils will always be your servant who will do anything you ask' - Sincerly yours, Thivya

:))
eskimo06
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 03:29:07 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Salt on Old Wounds: The systematic Sinhalization of Sri Lanka's North, East, the historic habitat of the Tamil speaking people. State sponsored Sinhala colonization in the name of Development and Reconciliation. (PART 1).


Yawn Zzzzzz :((

Can't wait for part 2
Sinthaka
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 03:58:42 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Snnnooorrrr...hmpf?? Wha....Thivya? ah apey manjula ne..ha ha ha...Zzzzzzzzz.......SNOOORRRRREEEEE!!
Malinga
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 04:45:43 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Thivya, I repeat, this conflict is all about land.

The human conditions depend on man, land and water.

Sri Lanka is a 65000 sqK island in Indian Ocean.
The controversy revolves around what LTTE claimed and now Diaspora claim that the North and Eastern Province is the exclusive homeland of the Tamils and therefore must be administered by the sole representatives of Tamils.

They seek to control 17000 sqk land area excluding National Parks. According to 2001 senses the population of this area was 2,456,912 persons. (Census to be conducted tomorrow may provide a vastly different picture). The population density in North and Eastern Province is 167 persons per sqK.

The entire area in North & East is dependent on the South for power generation and electricity. The water from the main rivers Ma Oya, Mahaweli, Yan oya, Malwathu Oya irrigate the fields. The income generated from Southern resources go to provide all the service in the North and East. The massive expenditure needed for upkeep of hospitals, schools and feeding the poor is from the income generated from the South.

Most of the educated persons from the North & East are working in the South. In short, North & East is dependent on the south.

The accelerated Mahaweli Programme cost 50 billion rupees. It transformed the plains of the North and East into fertile agricultural land. The main purpose of this project was to find land for the landless and jobs for the unemployed.

The distribution of land should not be on the basis of a person s ethnic origin. Land should be given to those who have no land or means of obtaining land.

There is no special hunger, poverty, or landlessness special only to the Tamils. The Sinhalese, Muslims and all others have identical aspirations and needs.

Yes, there is a lesson to be learnt from this history.

That is, if LLRC recommendations are to be implemented, the actions must be acceptable to all Sri Lankans.

The recommendations need to be reviewed, analysed, and debated by all stakeholders before legislating.

We learnt from the CFA which drafted by Norwegians to appease the LTTE, agreed with Balasingham before forcing Ranil to sign in a mighty hurry without even showing it to the ten President. That is why the CFA was so lopsided, putting the Sri Lankan Government in a straight jacket while allowing the Tigers to roam free and kill at will.



Edited By - Malinga - 25 Mar 2012 04:56:42 GMT
AndyLau
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 05:14:21 GMT  Report for Abuse  
WeThamiaz who live in Sri Lanka move Aboad and colonize foreign countries..

Sinhalese living in Sri Lanka move north and colonize Jafkanistan....

Whats the big deal?

Jafkanistan has loads of war widows....more reason for Sinhala men to move there for business


Edited By - AndyLau - 25 Mar 2012 05:15:06 GMT
AndyLau
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LK Information  25 Mar 2012 05:16:19 GMT  Report for Abuse  
While focusing on the process of Sinhalization that is currently being implemented, this monograph seeks to situate it within the broader historical process of Sinhalization that has been carried out by different governments spanning a number of decades.


I think the biggest incentive for Sinhala men to move to Jafkanistan is war widows:(((
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