Census of 2011: immediate steps needed by Sri Lanka government to redress demographic imbalance and justify investment
Posted on June 28th, 2012

Asada M Erpini

The preliminary report handed in by the Superintendent of Census and Director General of Census and Statistics to the President on 26 June has valuable items of information that should be given wider publicity. Foremost among them are the following:

  1. Northern Province has only 5.2 percent of the total population of Sri Lanka;
  2. Mullaitivu and Mannar districts have the lowest populations: 92,228 and 99,063 respectively;
  3. Mullaitivu District has the lowest population density, with 38 persons per square kilometre while Colombo has the highest, of 3,438 persons per square kilometre. Kalutara, Galle, Matara, and Kandy Districts each has more than 600 persons per square kilometre, yet the Northern Province except the Jaffna District has less than 100 person per square Kilometre.

The implication of all these numbers is that there are vast swathes of land in the Northern Province that are underutilized and sparsely populated, while the population density is high in Colombo, other southern districts and in the Central regions of the country.

It had been reported that the Sri Lanka government has allocated approximately a third of its last budget to development and rebuilding of the Northern regions of the country. If the population is a mere 5%, and when the government is ready to spend a third of its meagre finances for bringing normalcy to the North, it is logical that its takes measures to ensure the benefits are accrued by the general population of the country and not only by a small segment that propagates separatism and was actively involved in carving out a mono-ethnic Eelam in Sri Lanka.

It is essential that concrete and deliberate measures are taken to alter the demographic imbalance in the Northern Province that was institutionalised by the LTTE through the expulsion of the Moors and the Sinhalese who had lived in the region for generations. On 5th October 1990, the Muslims of Moor Street in Jaffna were asked by the LTTE to gather at the Jinnah grounds of Osmaniya College and were given two hours to leave or surrender a child to the LTTE. Nearly 75,000 Moors who had been engaged in business ventures left Jaffna, and today there are no Moors in Jaffna. 25,000 Sinhalese who had been engaged in trades such as running bakeries suffered a similar fate. These actions of the LTTE have allowed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – the group that is invariably referred to as the major Tamil political party by the Western media as well as by a handful of scribes in Sri Lanka, with no one questioning the proportion of the population that it could claim to represent to deserve a voice in national politics – to have free rein in the North.

Mr. D.S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minster of Sri Lanka, had the vision and the welfare of the average Sri Lankan at his heart to initiate projects such as the Gal Oya Development Scheme. Encyclopaedia Britannica –  not by any means a Sri Lankan media forum affiliated to the government “”…” states that he took steps “to colonize uninhabited areas (and) resettled 250,000 people” under the Gal Oya multipurpose scheme.

What is urgently needed today is to have a government-sponsored colonization scheme for the North. The first step in this project would be the resettling of the Moors and the Sinhalese who had been chased out by the LTTE. If the Indian government is ready to construct 100,000 houses to benefit the Tamils who lost their residences, India is also under moral obligation to treat the Sinhalese and the Moors in the same manner, although the latter two ethnic groups do not have vociferous uncles and aunties in various States of India, who have the power to topple the apple cart as far as the Indian Central Government is concerned, to fight on their behalf.

The TNA, its financiers in the West, and the LTTE constituents (now carrying on with the LTTE project under various labels such as the Global Tamil Forum and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam), of course, will project it to the gullible and those with sinister motives in the West as the Sinhalese government attempting to take over the Tamil homelands in Sri Lanka. Let them cry until they become hoarse: after all, the humanitarian gesture that rescued 300,000 Tamil civilians from the clutches of the LTTE leader, costing the Sri Lanka armed forces an additional 6000 lives, is now almost universally accepted as a war crime in which 40,000 Tamils were massacred, although live broadcasts beamed to the rest of the world showed the LTTE shooting the Tamils fleeing to the Sri Lankan armed forces..

Sri Lanka government should do what is best for the country. Trying to please the Clintons, Singhs, Jayalalithas and others of their ilk has not given the county anything positive. If it is going to be open hostilities, so be it: Sri Lanka will remain either a sovereign and independent nation or will end up as the twenty ninth State of the Union of States of India or even a province of the State of Tamil Nadu. Many young men and women sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from the terrorist curse: there certainly are plenty more to follow in their footsteps.

9 Responses to “Census of 2011: immediate steps needed by Sri Lanka government to redress demographic imbalance and justify investment”

  1. sena Says:

    Good comments. But those who will be resettled should be given economic opportunities (without building everything around Colombo and Hambantota) unlike the people around Kandy who were dumped in LTTE infested scorching land in Eastern Province from their spice growing fertile lands under Mahaveli scheme

  2. AnuD Says:

    Sri Lankan infra structure development does not relates to the demographics. It is simply related to politics.

    I don’t think Sri lankan Department of Statistics is doing a good job on collecting data (probably I am not aware of it). Otherwise, if we relate the population in each area with respect to the amount of money spent on the development of that area, number of Kilometers of roads developed, number of schools built etc. & etc.,, I think, the Northern province may be over provided.

    On the other, In certain areas population is overflowing and the environment can not tolerate it. for example, see river catchment areas in the upcountry – so many houses are built, tress are cut down and there is no catchment areas to feed the rivers. rivers are filled with mud and, therefore, the floods are a common occurrence. We can here, very often, people clear areas around around Yala, Wilpaththu or Sinharaja forest.

    I am sure,there should be so many ministers looking after these areas. But, I don’t think they are aware at all about what is happening.

  3. AnuD Says:

    close to Colombo coconut lands are cleared for housing. On the other hand, Lands are not utilized in the North where even people don’t like to move. Why don’t the govt begin coconut cultivation and/or at least grow the crops that can grow.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    FIRST THINGS FIRST.

    A)…The government should re-habilitate the 75,000 Moors, who were ethnically cleansed by the LTTE. They were also robbed of their finances, and valuables. The Tamils in Jaffna benfited by it. The Government should be fair by them, and give them Rs1,000.000 each as given to the Tamils. The Government should restore their Dignity. This should be done immediately. It is better late than never.

    B)… The Government should re-habilitate the 25,000 Sinhalese, who were ethnically cleansed by the LTTE. They were also robbed of their finances, and valuables. The Tamils in Jaffna benefited by it. The Government should be fair by them, and give them Rs1,000.000 each as given to the Tamils. The Government should restore their Dignity. The re-habilitation should be done simultaneously with the re-habilitation of the Moors.

    THE PRESIDENT SHOULD NOMINATE THREE MUSLIM MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, OR THREE MINISTERS OR BOTH TO ASSIST THE RE-HABILITATION OF THE MOORS, AND THE MATTER SHOULD BE EXPEDITED.

    LIKEWISE, THREE SINHALA MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, OR THREE MINISTERS OR BOTH TO ASSIST IN THE RE-HABILITATION PROCESS OF THE SINHALESE. THE MATTER SHOULD BE EXPEDITED.

    THE RE-HABILITATION OF TAMILS, SINHALESE, AND MOORS, SHOULD ALL GET EQUAL BENEFITS, AND NOTHING LESS. REPEAT…. EQUAL BENEFITS, AND NOTHING LESS.

    It is time that the Government stopped molly-coddling the TAMILS. There has to be a limit to anything.

    Mr. President, please re-iterate to Singhee that Sri Lanka belongs to all ethnicities, and out of the 100,000 houses given by India, ( I do not know whether this is correct), the Sinhalese and Moors should also be its beneficiaries.
    Ideal set up. Build the houses, and re-habilitate the Tamils, Sinhalese, and the Moors, on equal footing.

  5. Dilrook Says:

    33% of the development allocation spending on just 5% of the population is a national crime.

    Despite all this the UPFA is heading for a massive defeat in the north. That is why the NPC election is not held. TNA is extremely popular in the north; more popular than April 2010. UPFA has made a fatal error in allocating resources.

    Resources must be allocated to politically important areas in the proportion of their contribution to the ruling party’s votes. Rajapakshas showed this insight before 2010 but lost their way after 2010.

  6. AnuD Says:

    If I got it correct, today one news report said,out of 1000 IT-specialist teachers appointed, 213 went to the North. I think, these figures show very imbalanced spending to that area.

  7. lingamAndy Says:

    Susantha Wijesinghe
    FIRST THINGS FIRST.
    Fully agrred A than B than C
    C) conpansation for all affected by 1956 to 1983 raits ( include me- If I get any I will promise I will give all to our wonded forces family who liberat Vanni !) by SL Govt failed to impose curfew on time .

    Unit in diversity !!! No short cut !

    AnuD
    coconut cultivation or grow the crops that can grow.- excelent idea !!!
    If We start now, We will be ready to send Coconut from 2013 by Jaldevi at Jalpanam railway station !!!

  8. Vis8 Says:

    The census tells the whole story: Most Tamils are living in the South, and live happy and prosperous lives. It is the refugees who have fled Sri Lanka to the west who are distorting all facts. Yes, the results of this census should be given wide publicity. … and 1/3 of the budget to help 5% of the people in the North…. who is being unfairly treated??

  9. lingamAndy Says:

    Vis8
    1/3 of the budget to help in the North ! Yes North needed Now , We have used our boombers to maximum capacity to distroed these city last 33 years !
    Please visit your ancisten city where Lord Bhuddha landed Holy places ( Nakadeepa, Kandaroda ….) ,

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