Is there an illegal settlement and mosque inside Wilpattu National Park?
Posted on April 23rd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The question is simple and direct. The problem is, no one is giving a correct answer. Scores of articles, press conferences, statements have been issued none of which have given the public the confidence that they are being told the truth. The importance of Wilpattu is far more than its historical, archeological or environmental value. Wilpattu is a strategic security value center for Sri Lanka and it is on this ground that authorities should realize they need to get their act together.

 Wilpattu

Its name derives from its meaning land of lakes. It has 60 lakes and tanks spread across 131, 693 hectares in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone. In 1905 the area was designated a sanctuary and in 1938 it was upgraded to the National Park status.’ 31 species of mammals have been identified within Wilpattu national park.

 The media has highlighted Wilpattu National Park with varying versions to the story. Let us first look at some of the articles and thereafter pose some questions. The contents of the arguments made by BBS certainly deserves attention.

25 March 2014 – http://colombogazette.com/2014/03/25/rishad-demands-500-mn-from-bbs/

·         Rishad Bathiudeen sending letter of demand to the  Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) seeking $ 3.8 Mn (Rs 500 Mn) in compensation over defamatory statements made by them.

·         Rishad Bathiudeen accuses BBS of wrongly accusing him of destroying the Wilpattu National Park and creating an exclusive Muslim Zone from Wilpattu to Mannar and an  Arab colony in Sri Lanka in the Mannar ” Wilpattu area.

1 April 2014 – BBS flays Govt. on Wilpattu housing projecthttp://www.dailymirror.lk/news/45306-bbs-flays-govt-on-wilpattu-housing-project.html

·         “A project of this nature has to be carried out with the involvement of several ministers such as those of the Environment and Renewable Energy Ministry and the Wildlife Resources Conservation Ministry because this project is located within a National Park. The National Heritage Ministry should be responsible because of valuable artefacts that might be destroyed because of the construction work. Ministries of Finance and Planning and External Affairs and even the security forces should not keep silent on important matters such as this,” BBS General Secretary the Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera told a news conference

·         According to the BBS, the minister who is backing the project has received funds from an NGO.  “Even the Regional office of the Central Environmental Authority has said this project would destroy the forest. If the authorities are resettling people it should be carried out in a proper manner and in a proper place, not illegally in the heartland of a valuable forest reserve,” the Thera said.

1 April 2014 – BBS decries Wilpattu destructionhttp://www.sundaytimes.lk/top-story/48052.html

·         BBS demanded GOSL take action and stop a range of illegal activities that is currently taking place inside the Wilpattu Wildlife Park.

·         BBS accused the GOSL of silence while a group of persons backed by a powerful regional politician continues to plunder the Park .

·         BBS claimed the illegal activities included logging, sand mining, chena cultivations, the construction of houses and a mosque.

11 April 2014 ” Ceylon Today ‘Who built a village inside Wilpattu National Park’ http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-61562-news-detail-who-built-a-village-inside-wilpattu-national-park.html

·         These Muslims, whom I am resettling and have resettled in the Wilpattu National Park after clearing the jungle and also in the Northern Province, are partly my voter base. There is nothing illegal in building houses and places as I have acquired permission in a correct manner from the relevant line ministries and this is sanctioned by the government,Bathiudeen said.

·         This is taking place in the Musali area and in the Northern areas of the Wilpattu National Park, the encroaching families come from Mannar, Thalaimannar, Maruchchikatti, Karadikkuli and Palikkuli.

11 April 2014 by Zacki Jabbar – http://www.sailanmuslim.com/news/squatters-at-wilpattu-bbs-falsely-linked-it-with-jasmine-housing-project-petition-to-president-by-zacki-jabbar/

·         A petition signed by 12 Muslim Organizations :  All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, Muslim Lawyers Association, All Ceylon YMMA Conference, Muslim Womens Research and Action Forum, All Ceylon Union of Muslim Youth League Front, National Shoora Council, Secretariat for Muslims, Muslim Media Forum, Sri Lanka Jamath-e-Islami, United Muslim Ummah, Majlisul Shoora claims

·         BBS is wrongfully claiming that a new resettlement colony called Jassim City is being constructed with donor funds inside the Wilpattu National Park. 

·         No illegal resettlement nor damage had been caused to the Wilpattu National Park or the environment. 

·         Hundred families whose lands are currently occupied by the Navy have squatted in temporary shelters in about two acres of land belonging to the buffer zone near the Wilpattu National Park.

13 April 2014 ” Ceylon Today : Squatters invade Wilpattu ” Rape of a National Park http://www.ceylontoday.lk/90-61670-news-detail-squatters-invade-wilpatturape-of-a-national-park.html

·         The issue of systematic deforestation in Wilpattu, for a construction site, was brought to the limelight by environmental organizations from 2012 and early 2013, yet, authorities continued to overlook the matter. 

·         Bodu Bala Sena taking the matter into their hand and openly accusing Commerce and Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen of Muslim colonization and lashing out at President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the authorities for ignoring the matter for a long time.

·         Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) charged that massive-scale illegal land grabbing is taking place in order to establish Muslim colonies, separate zones and villages, on the pretext of resettling the internally displaced.

·         BBS alleged that Minister Bathiudeen had entered into contracts with Middle Eastern non-governmental organizations (http://www.jassimcharity.net/?ref=24&news=5 and http://www.jassimcharity.net/?ref=24&news=12), to fund this encroachment.

·         Quoting “These Muslims, whom I am resettling and have resettled in the Wilpattu National Park, after clearing the jungle and also in the Northern Province, are partly my voter base. There is nothing illegal in building houses and places, as I have acquired permission in the correct manner from the relevant line ministries and this is sanctioned by the government,” Bathiudeen said in response to charges.

·         Construction is taking place in the Musali area and in the Northern areas of the Wilpattu National Park. The squatters have come from Mannar, Thalaimannar, Maruchchikatti, Karadikkuli and Palikkuli.

·         BBS also questioned why Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy Susil Premajayantha and Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Wimal Weerawansa were silent 

·         BBS argument – “Post-war, the internally displaced should be given housing regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion. This should be done with a proper plan and by following the correct procedure. First of all, the government should find out where they lived previously and relocate them to their original locations. At a time when green forests are being destroyed, allowing the Wilpattu National Park to be cleared to build houses is an environmental catastrophe. It is because there is no proper housing plan to accommodate, relocate and reinstate the internally displaced that a situations like this has arisen. When there is so much land for this purpose elsewhere, doing this in Wilpattu and giving permission for it is a politically motivated act.

·         BBS questions – This building of new Muslim villages is the origin of a future problem. When a government minister signs a contract on behalf of the government, how does the money end up with an NGO? 

·         The Divisional Secretary of Musali has said that they have already filed cases against the settlers in the North of the Wilpattu National Park and the wildlife conservation officer of the Wilpattu National Park also corroborated this.

·         Even though, Minister Bathuideen asserted that the land was acquired and constructions were carried out in accordance with other line ministries, a letter sent by R.P.R. Rajapaksha, in his capacity as the Land Commissioner General, has insisted that the Divisional Secretary of Muhudubada Pattu should reveal as to who they are expecting to relocate in the land belonging to the Forest Conservation Department as identification of IDPs to be relocated had almost reached a conclusion.

17 April 2014 – Zacki Jabbar – http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=101765

Writer claims the following :

·         The Wildlife Department says no one had built houses within the Wilpattu National Park (WNP), but some Northern Muslims driven out of their homes in 1990 by the LTTE and subsequently displaced by the Navy, had put up temporary shelters within the sanctuary bordering the WNP.

·         Wildlife Department says the settlements were illegal

·         Minister Rishard agreed that illegal constructions should be cleared. 

·         BBS had wrongfully accused the Jasmine City Housing Project (JCHP) located outside the WNP in Marchchikatti Grama Niladari Division as being inside the WNP

·         The 44 Muslim families who put up temporary shelters within the sanctuary, but outside the border of the WNP, had gone there on their own, after being evicted from their lands by the Navy which has since occupied the area. 

18 April 2014 – http://www.ft.lk/2014/04/18/i-categorically-deny-bbs-falsehoods-rishad/

·         Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday said that the Wilpattu squatters atMarichchikattu arrived there due to their great necessity to survive

·         A total of 73 families who were left in the lurch have put up temporary huts onthe borders of the Wilpattu National Park out of great necessity to survive.

·         The allegation of BBS is that the JASIM city housing scheme has been constructed as an Arab colony within the boundary of the Wilpattu National Park is clearly a lie and I categorically reject them,” Bathiudeen asserted.

·         Minister stated that the housing scheme is located in the Marichchikattu GNdivision which is outside the Wilpattu National Park and that this was evident in the DS letter and the Survey Plans and all inhabitants thereof are IDPS.

·         In 2012, as per the terms of the LLRC recommendations, the Presidential TaskForce (PTF) appointed a committee to identify lands for the landless. Theyidentified lands in Marichchikattu, Palakuli and Karadikuli, which is explainedin the letter of the Divisional Secretary of the Musali Division. It should also bementioned here that there are about 73 families whose original Marichchikattuarea lands have been taken over by the Navy for security purposes and thefamilies are unable to resettle in them as a result of this. Then the officials ofthe Divisional Secretariat identified alternate lands for these IDPs in theMarichchikatti area. However, this alternate land proposal was objected to bythe Army despite the fact that there is no security establishment in proximity to the alternate lands referred to above.”

·         “They are not inside the National Park, but they are in the border area of the park. 

18 April 2014 ” Daily News ‘Legal action against Wilpattu squatters’ http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=police-legal/legal-action-against-wilpattu-squatters

 

·         Aan official of the Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) told the Daily News that legal action will be taken against the temporary settlements spread around 3 acres in the Wilpattu sanctuary

·         The official says 44 families are living in the temporary settlements.

·         The official also says that a court case has been filed at the Mannar Magistrate’s Court

·         The land that the Muslim families are encroaching upon falls under the Wildlife Conservation Department

·         Rishad Bathiudeen says the houses were constructed on the lands released legally by the Forest Conservation Department to the relevant Divisional Secretariat after following the due process. 

20th April 2014 – http://thasbeeh.com/english/muslim-village-not-in-wilpattu/ According to author Latheef Farook Marichchikatti

·         Muslim families were living peacefully for centuries in the Marichchikatti village in the Musali division in the Mannar District.

·         They returned to their village (150 families / 500 people) after being evicted in 1990 and were helped by the government  and divisional secretary

·         An NGO helped them to put up huts

·         Farook claims Marichichikattu village belongs to the Musali division in the Mannar District.

·         These Muslims have also produced deeds and all other relevant documents for their lands. They had also shown evidence of an old mosque there before they were evicted. This mosque is now under Navy control.

·         Minister Bathiudeen has said these houses were built with the knowledge of the government.

·         There is nothing illegal in building these houses as they have acquired permission from the relevant line ministries and this is sanctioned by the government.

20th April 2014 ” Official statement by Military Spokesman, Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya

·         Naval deployments in the Wilpattu National Park area have not affected the Muslim families as claimed by media 

·         Muslim families who have encroached the sanctuary of Wilpattu National Park were NOT the families displaced due to naval deployments in the area. 

·         The naval deployment in Mullikkulam and Marichchikaddu areas have resulted in the displacement of only one Muslim family and that family is not among those seeking resettlement within the sanctuary. 

·         The Sri Lanka Navy along with civil authorities had made arrangements to provide alternate land to this family in Marichchikaddu area. 

·         No other Muslim family has ever approached the Sri Lanka Navy claiming displacement due to deployments in the area.   

·         reports published in the media quoting political sources that the Muslim families who put up temporary shelters within the sanctuary, but outside the border of the Willpattu National Park had gone there on their own after being evicted from their lands by the Navy, which has since occupied the area is false and totally baseless.  

21 April 2014 – No legal action against illegal construction at Wilpattu ” Environmentalists http://newsfirst.lk/english/2014/04/environmentalists-charge-legal-action-illegal-construction-activities-wilpattu-national-park/31554

·         Environmentalist Ravindra Kariyawasam said that over 300 illegal dwellings have been constructed in the Northern region of the park.

·         He noted that the bio diversity at the sanctuary has been largely affected by the illegal constructions.

·         Minister of Wildlife and Conservation, Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, said that in response he had requested the enviromentalists to seek legal redress.

22 April 2014 – Rishad refutes allegations on Wilpaththu encroachments –  http://www.nation.lk/edition/breaking-news/item/28366-rishad-refutes-allegations-on-wilpaththu-encroachments.html#sthash.CtRnotx4.dpuf

 

The article claims that Rishard Bathiudeen says that

·         23,000 hectares of Wilpaththu National Park have been cleared during post-war resettlement

·         clearance has occurred only in Marichchikatti on the border of the national park. 

·         the people should be given alternative land on which they could settle.  

In the meanwhile there are the general mischief makers attempting to divert the core issue and utilize the opportunity to slander. When calls are made to ‘all Sri Lankans to tear up the national flag & dump it’ and Sinhalese Buddhists are being called all sorts of names throughout print and online publications, the Minister of National Language and Social Integration (who has hardly any vote base) sees only one side of the coin and has consistently shown bias. While former {residential advisors uses the opportunity to take one-sided pot shots referring to ‘Sinhala Eelam’, “Eelam Chinthanya” trying all avenues to spread the sponsored concept of interfaith in an obvious bid to curtail and clip the Buddhist identity of Sri Lanka. When Cameron can declare that England with hardly 55% Christians is a Christian state, why shouldn’t Sri Lanka with close to 70% Buddhists refer to Sri Lanka as Buddhist when every area has a Sinhala Buddhist link to its civilizational history?

Questions the public demand answers to:

·         If the Military Spokesman claims that only one family has been displaced due to Naval deployment and that Muslim family had been given alternate land in Marichchikaddu area, why does Latheef Farook refer to 150 families of 500 people?

·         Is there illegal settlements taking place with the knowledge of line ministries and public officials and is this because they have been induced to slumber if they do not exert their authority given that illegal settlements in a strategic area would obviously lead to issues in future?

·         The Commerce Minister is on record stating that “These Muslims, whom I am resettling and have resettled in the Wilpattu National Park after clearing the jungle and also in the Northern Province, are partly my voter base. There is nothing illegal in building houses and places as I have acquired permission in a correct manner from the relevant line ministries and this is sanctioned by the government,” ” the seriousness of this statement requires the GOSL to respond. No politician of ethnic minority is voted to Parliament to use tax payers money to build only for that community. If this is a reality it demands that Sri Lanka immediately addresses the present proportional representative voting system and adopt alternative methods for the likelihood of other minority politicians thinking on the same line is likely to be catastrophic in the future.

·         If 12 Muslim organizations claim there is no ‘illegal settlement’ while scores of others claim there is ” who is telling the truth and who is lying?

·         If these 12 Muslim organizations have signed to say that the temporary shelters are as a result of Navy occupying their areas, is this not negating what the military spokesman officially said?

·         If there was no illegal settlements why did environmental organizations bring up the issue of deforestation in the Wilpattu as far back as 2012 and why did authorities turn a blind eye?

·         On 13th April 2014 Rishard Bathiudeen says   “These Muslims, whom I am resettling and have resettled in the Wilpattu National Park after clearing the jungle” then on 18th April 2014 he says that these families arrived at the borders of Wilpattu National Park out of great necessity to survive.

·         If there is nothing ‘illegal’ taking place why is the Wildlife Department taking legal action and why does Latheef Farook say ‘There is nothing illegal in building these houses as they have acquired permission from the relevant line ministries and this is sanctioned by the government’?

·         Environmentalist Ravindra Kariyawasam says there are over 300 illegal illegal dwellings constructed in the Northern region of the park ” Is this true or not?

 We are left with more questions and NO answers.

 The statements and points from articles shown above clearly establish that there is a grievance, there are irregularities and we have to also admit that Government silence or public official involvement to aggravate the situation has led to the current impasse. These are good lessons for Sri Lanka’s politicians who do not seem to think beyond their term of office and ignore the dangers lurking in our midst where foreign elements continue to attempt to fan fires of any kind. It is unfortunate that the Government and public officials are not dousing the flames but adding to the fire and this is why people take the law into their hands.

 Politicians should not interfere but allow law enforcements and the country’s laws to prevail. It is when politicians involve themselves into areas that are best left for authorities to handle that trouble takes place and there are enough of elements to make the situation worse.

 

29 Responses to “Is there an illegal settlement and mosque inside Wilpattu National Park?”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    why shouldn’t Sri Lanka with close to 70% Buddhists refer to Sri Lanka as Buddhist when every area has a Sinhala Buddhist link to its civilizational history? Why not !!!

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    To quote the article: “The question is simple and direct. The problem is, no one is giving a correct answer. Scores of articles, press conferences, statements have been issued none of which have given the public the confidence that they are being told the truth.”

    If the above statement is due to the lack of information Colombo is releasing then the BBS has the power to send her own journalists and most importantly video tape the whole issue. From the squatters, to the land clearance to the site where there is a development to settle Muslims within this park. This video can be downloaded in the Lankaweb so that there is an access to the public be they Sri Lankans or the world, to see. That is one of the powers of the Buddhist Sanga. Do to Colombo what that British Journalist did at the end of the war. He video taped the war and used that video as evidence to support his charges of human rights violations. To date that channel 4 video has been accepted without question, without verification and treated in a manner as if it is the holy grail.

    Time for another Video of the Wilpathu National park and the nefarious activity taking place in and around that strategic park. Do not leave it to the Government but take the initiative to do it yourself. If the Government prevents such an action that alone would be news worthy. It would bring to question why a Buddhist Sanga is refused to film a national park. People will start asking questions and this issue will leap to the front pages of the Sri Lanka media.

  3. Nanda Says:

    May I invite both Sunils ( Mahattaya and Viyapala who fought for Singharaja distruction by his ex-friend) to comment on why your beloved president is silent on this so far.

    Please note that Minister Bathuideen is the head of Lanka’s “Muslim Broterhood” a branch of the Egypt one, I guess.

    Also Lorenzo has made a mistake of instigating tamil-Muslim “kachal” to our benefit but this is a much bigger problem than our benefit, the project is funded by Qatar murderers who voted for SL in stupid UNHR nonsense (which probably is a government created excuse).

    We need patriots BW, Lorenzo, Ananda to think hard and give good “constructive criticism” (if possible at all) than plain good wack to Gov.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    We need patriots BW, Lorenzo, Ananda to think hard and give good “constructive criticism” (if possible at all)? if Possible !!!! big question !

  5. Nanda Says:

    Thank you Shenali for this valuable contribution raising awareness.

    Whether legal of illegal why the hell our stupid leaders allow these Muslims to create a colony on their own. Any new housing for any community should be integrated into existing settlements with racial percentage in mind. Why create more and more segregation among communities ?

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    There are hundreds of thousands of ILLEGAL MIGRANTS in Sri Lanka. They take ‘refuge’ by conversions to various religious bodies. These activities started during the Colonisation (nearly 500 yrs), & Cold War times (1946-1991 and beyond as post-Cold War) periods and the present govt. is left to account for criminal and illegal activities of all past and present illegal migrants and criminal elements from nearby countries, especially Tamil Nadu, the Maldives and Pakistan. When the LTTE held the N&E, there was terrorism going on apace, with no accountability from the then govts !! Strange Lanka.

    Recently some 600 illegal migrants from Pakistan were ‘found’ in Sri Lanka under the protection of the Catholic church, presumably converted to Catholicism.

    Aren’t religious bodies held accountable ? Why not ? What laws govern all religious bodies in Lanka re illegal migrants ?

    Here is an article from the LankaPage on the Wilpattu issue etc. At present, due to lawlessness in the past, it seems that the President has to handle every issue in the country, large or small.

    ” Sri Lankan President vows to take strict action against lawbreakers, not to permit religious discord
    Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 03:55 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    There is no religious disharmony in Sri Lanka as some groups are attempting to create an opinion that there are such religious conflicts in the country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted today.

    However, the President assured that he will not allow any individual or an organization to take the law into their hands and create such a situation in the country.

    Addressing heads of electronic and printed media chiefs and chief editors at the Temple Trees this morning the President said he hopes to discuss the issue with the religious groups.

    He said that the government will take measures to establish a separate specially trained police unit to deal with religious incidents.
    The President said he has also focused attention on the recent request of the Chief Prelates not to publish images of Buddha in newspapers and asked the media to consider the prelates’ request.

    When asked whether there will be presidential elections next year, the President said he has no plans to hold presidential election until his term ends in 2016 but if the opposition United National Party (UNP) makes a formal request he will consider a snap poll earlier.

    Speaking of the Hambantota incident, the President said that an investigation is being conducted in this regard. He added that no one is above the law and legal action will be taken against any politician, even those from the government, if they violate the law.

    Responding to media queries on the resettlements in the Wilpattu National Park, the President said that if the people were resettled in an illegal manner, they will be removed.

    Ministers Professor G.L. Pieris, Basil Rajapaksa, Keheliya Rambukwella, Dullas Alahapperuma, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary and the IGP N.K. Ilangakoon were also present at this occasion”.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S.: It is evident that the largest numbers of illegal migrants in present times came in, especially from Tamil Nadu area, during the time the LTTE held the N&E.

  8. AnuD Says:

    There should be a network of people within the govt offices who will give out these documents.

    See how the church is using every avenue that they have.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Shenali,

    You have performed an invaluable service by presenting the original news reports on this contentious issue.

    What the GOSL should do is quite OBVIOUS:

    1. Find out whether the lands within the Wilpattu National Park have been encroached upon as claimed, with or without permission by various ministries, which may have their own irons in the fire.

    2. If settlers have encroached into the Park, find out who they are: people displaced by the war, or new illegal immigrants from abroad.

    3. If they are war-displaced Sri Lankan citizens, either restore them to where they lived originally, or if that is not possible give them alternative lands elsewhere that does not encroach upon the Park. If they are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, ARREST and DEPORT them to wherever they came from.

    4. If any ILLEGALITY has taken place in alienating Willpattu National Park, INVESTIGATE who in the GOSL conspired to do so, and ARREST, INDICT, PROSECUTE and PUNISH all those who broke the law, however powerful those people may be.

    5. INVESTIGATE whether there any NGOs are undertaking such “Colonization Projects” designed to carve out and establish EXCLUSIVE ethnic and religious enclaves in Sri Lanka, as claimed by the BBS, and TAKE ACTION to end this NeoColonial Activity by Stealth. Expel and PERMANENTLY PROSCRIBE those NGOs.

    As I said, what should be done is OBVIOUS, but is it simple, or politically feasible? ENFORCING THE LAW should never be subject to CONVENIENCE; it should be done HOWEVER HARD it may be. That is the only way Sri Lanka can Survive and Protect all of its people. Also, don’t let the Foxes mind the Hen House by allowing Rishard Bathuideen and other alleged conspirrators to do the “Investigations” and “Enforce the Laws of the Land”!

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    BBS is nothing but group of thug monks created by MaRa to get petty political advantage at the expense of the country. – MR will use BBS to attck muslims, christians, tamils to get majority buddhist votes. – MR will use BBS to attack UNP even siri kotha itself. – MR will use BBS to side line the Mahanayake’s and replace them with BBS. MR & Family will rule the country forever.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    A fundamental Buddhist principal is that we all should respect and treat one another equally. Buddhists are enjoined to respect all nations of the world, all races, social classes, genders, and ages among people. Two thousand five hundred years ago in India, the Buddha said, “When the rivers run into the sea, they all lose their separate names; when the four castes enter into Buddhism, they lose all distinctions among them.” Because of this inherent equality in Buddhism, monastics and believers during and after the time of the Buddha were able to unite and carry the teachings of the Buddha to every corner of India. From India, Buddhism has spread easily and quickly throughout the world. Because Buddhists believe in the fundamental equality of all cultures, they are able to respect and adapt readily to the ways of other people. In all of human history, there never has been a war fought over Buddhism. Buddhism teaches very clearly that when there is first respect and a sense of equality among people, there will never be war among them. This is the prescription for peace and progress. If today’s Buddhist Priests do not understand the above teaching of Buddha they have to remove their robes and find something else to wear.

  12. AnuD Says:

    According to a ISLAND newspaper article, Rishad Bathiuddin had taken journalists and had shown a village of 73 houses in the protected boarder area or in the buffer zone of wilpatthu as the these peoples ANCESTRAL lands.

    Think about muslims that did not increase their progeny as rats do. These muslims for generations could increase only up to 73 families.

    Then the next question comes how come the govt established a buffer zone if these people were living there for generations ?

    Sinhala buddhist vote is at least 60%. Why govt is sleeping with these muslim extremists ?

  13. SA Kumar Says:

    It is evident that the largest numbers of illegal migrants in present times came in, especially from Tamil Nadu area ! Not agreed .
    Than why still 150,000 NEP SL Tamil refugees in TN camps ?
    truth of the matter is more Estate Tamils ( born after 1948 in SL) settled in NEP during VP time & these poor peoples used & killed ,
    We NEP Tamil used this opportunity to run away ( 1 million) to Western world .

  14. SA Kumar Says:

    AnuD

    please can you tell me this wilpatthu is in TE side or CL ( Chinhala Lanka) side !

    Amme …… ( Arudda soli Ala – to whom I can tell to cry ) you both are fighting for some one land !!!

    Vulu enkada irukkrira ( Velu where are you?)

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    AnuD,

    That trip, reported in the Island article, and orchestrated by Rishard Bathuideen, an “interested party” in the dispute, is EXACTLY what I meant when I said “DON’T LET THE FOXES MIND THE HEN HOUSE”.

    Legally, he is a party to the dispute, and CANNOT SERVE as an IMPARTIAL investigator.

    The Courts and the Police should undertake that function. Bathuideen should RECLUSE HIMSELF from the issue and let it be settled by the Courts and Police without trying to influence the result.

    What he did by taking the journalists out there is only further confuses and politicizes the issue. He should know better, as a MINISTER!

    On the other hand, if the BBS is found by the Courts to be at fault for making false accusations, the BBS should be FINED. Let the TRUTH prevail.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    The trouble in Sri Lanka is that borders of State owned land are NOT clearly defined through markers or some sort or barbed wire fencing. Anyone can lay claim to State land and call it their ‘ancestral land’. People from Tamil Nadu (flee for Caste/poverty reasons), the Maldives (as sea levels rise due to Global Warming people there seek other countries) & Pakistan (Drone attacks and terrorists), all seek other countries. Sri Lanka, having the most lax laws in the region, is their choice of a soft landing spot. After landing in Lanka, one way or another, various religious bodies protect them. SAARC rule of ‘visa on arrival’ is used for these purposes.

    In early days during the times of rule by Sinhela Kings, the coast was protected by garrisons and illegal migration was not easy. All that changed with colonization of Lanka. The Portuguese and the Dutch ruled the coastal areas and the British ruled the entire island. Illegal migration into Lanka was the easiest thing. When I wrote on illegal migration into Lanka about an year ago, someone took offense at my pointing this out, and said people have a RIGHT to land on the shores of Lanka and stay on if it so pleased them to do so ! Such is the contempt for Lanka’s laws or lack of it.

    I say again that Buddhism is NOT the law of the country. It is the main religion. The law of the country is of Roman/Dutch/British origin. Many of the laws are archaic and must be updated immediately. The laid back, good old days are gone forever. The Sinhala/Buddhists (the dying/dwindling powerless majority), had better wake up and study the law of the land, fill in the gaping gaps and see to it that the law is implemented.

    The BBS has an important role to play in Lanka, pointing out the weak areas of the law and governance.

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    So who is the boss of Urban Development Authority and who is the minister of HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION?

    I guess GR and Wimal Weerawansa!!

    Rishard has stepped into these roles!!

    BUT there is another side to this. This is unpopular.

    1. These are Muslims displaced from Jaffna. Tamil RACISTS don’t let them resettle in Jaffna. The govt. is CONTROLLED by Tamil racists.

    Keeping these TAMIL SPEAKING Muslims in Puttlam is a DISASTER. Soon Sinhala majority Puttlam will become TAMIL SPEAKING!!

    These MUST be taken OUT of Puttlam.

    2. Mannar is a TAMIL CATHOLIC majority district. Anti-SL frontrunner Kasippu Joseph Goebbels gets strength from these TAMIL CATHOLICS in Mannar. IF they can be turned into a minority and PIT Muslims against them, it is better from SL interests.

    By Muslim colonization of MUSALI (Mannar south) and Wilpattu (Mannar north) Tamilians can be trapped. Like in East. Batticaloa is Tamil majority but Trinco and Amparei districts are Muslim majority. Tamils have NO SAY in the east now!!

    The IDEAL solution is.

    RESETTLE ALL Jaffna Muslims and their generations in Jaffna NOW.

    If it cannot be done (because the govt. is scared of Jaffna Janitors) settle them in Mannar.

    Keeping them in Puttlam is the WORST THING as it is threat to Sinhalese. Muslims in Puttlam have increased 3 times since 1981. They cannot love in Puttlam. They must go to Jaffna or wherever.

  18. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,

    RESETTLE ALL Jaffna Muslims and their generations in Jaffna NOW. yes.
    I don’t agree with No.2.
    Muslims speak Tamil. We don’t want Tamil speaking crowd to increase in percentages. In that case it should be those willing Sinhalas of Balapitiya of the South, who will grab this with both hands. They will kill Kassipu Goe.

  19. Dilrook Says:

    Lorenzo:

    Wipattu is located in Anuradhapura and Puttalama Districts. Muslim settlements within the reserve fall within Puttalama District. No part of the Wil[attu reserve extends to Mannarama District. By allowing them to settle there, no change to demographics in any of the Mannarama or Puttalama Districts occur.

  20. Lorenzo Says:

    Dilrook,

    NOT TRUE.

    Wilpattu borders Mannar district.

    That is where Rishard and the crowd have settled Muslims.

    So it has NO impact on Puttlam and Anuradhapura. They come under Mannar district.

  21. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda and Dilrook,

    Rizad is no fool.

    He won the HIGHEST preference votes from Vanni in 2010 election.

    Tamils and Muslims voted for him. But ONLY Muslims will vote for him in 2016. So he makes it happen by settling Muslims in Mannar district (part of Vanni election district). He is not stupid to settle people in Puttlam which is of NO USE for him.

    The so called MARIKKAR MARICHCHUKADDI “village” is in Mannar which is the home of Kasippu Joseph Goebbels.

    By changing demographics in Mannar we can BUST Kasippu Joseph Goebbels and his replacement.

    The ideal solution is to settle these Muslims in Jaffna.
    But MR is crapping in his panties when Tamils threaten him with Geneva, etc. So there is no hope it will happen.

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    (a) The Problem to be targetted here is ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF STATE LAND (WNP land). Are these ‘squatters’ who say they are occupying ‘ancestral land’ (my foot !) breaking the law or not ?

    If they are breaking the law, then they have to be evicted.

    (b) Next problem: Are they illegal migrants or not ?
    * If YES, they have to be deported.
    * If NO, they must be resettled to their place of origin in Sri Lanka.

    We hope that such incidents do not recur, and State land is protected once and for all. What are the seat warmers called the Prov. Councils doing about such problems ?

    Pissang Kotuwa thinking will not get Sri Lankans anywhere.

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    Take a look at this piece of news. It talks of illegal migration OUT OF SRI LANKA, but none of the authorities have shown any interest, so far, in illegal migrants INTO SRI LANKA.

    Generally speaking, it is the illegal migrants INTO Lanka who go OUT as illegal migrants. They do not speak Sinhala or even some English, and cannot assimilate into mainstream life in Lanka.

    What Sri Lanka has is a LABOR problem (Plantations economy) that appears to encourage illegal migrants into Lanka. But these illegal migrants into Lanka are thinking of FREE LAND & HOUSING, FREE Education for children, FREE health care, and any other Free items dolled out by religious groups. If things don’t work out in Lanka re FREE items, then they can always do the illegal migration act and blame GoSL (any GoSL) in power and to boot, kick in the Sinhala/Buddhists as ‘mistreating’
    them ! No wonder Lanka authorities are in trouble in this issue. LABOR PROBLEMS have to sorted out in Lanka itself. Copy Europe in this regard, especially Germany.

    Question : Has any GoSL of Lanka promised FREE items to ILLEGAL MIGRANTS ? If so, when and by whom ?

    ——–

    Illegal emigration adds to list of missing persons – IGP
    April 24, 2014, 10:45 pm – ISLAND

    Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon yesterday revealed that a person recently arrested in Vavuniya had admitted to have sent nearly 600 persons abroad illegally.

    The police chief pointed out that those who had left the country, too, would be categorised as missing due to the conflict. Illangakoon was addressing the media at Temple Trees yesterday. (SF)

  24. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    East is islaimised by breeding like xxxx. Now the north west. Bit by bit outnumbering
    Sinhalese and the traitor Tamils. Traitor diaspora won’t help the government to curb
    this menace which is going to destroy both Sinhalese and Tamils. But hateful, treacherous
    diaspora, TNA, kasippu joesph etc, etc are hell bent on settling a score. They lost. They can’t
    take it. DIASPORA, WITH THE HELP OF BUM SUCKING POLITICIANS IN THE WEST
    WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A FEW VOTES, PUT PRESSURE ON THE PRESIDENT
    IN UNHCR, HE HAD TO SEEK THE SUPPORT OF THE MOSSIE COUNTRIES TO SURVIVE. NOW HE IS
    RETURNING THE FAVOURS TO MOSSIES IN SRI LANKA. DIASPORA HELPING THE MOSSIES
    TO OUTNUMBER SINHALESE AND TAMILS IN SRI LANKA. Hope they will preserve the
    ancient buildings of ancient Tamil kingdom of (mala) Eelam, which we see all over north and the east.

    We have seen the pictures of this settlement. Proof is there. Now baby machines will go into
    overdrive. Within few years it will be a mossie town. This is what they done in old afganisthan,
    pakisthan, bangladesh, maldives, malaysia, indonesia. Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mynmar in the firing
    line from this relentless breeding. We have to thank a lot of people for this.
    The Government, UnPatriotic Party (UNP), Jathika Vinasha Party (JVP), Gonseka, Nation Fxxxxxxx Front
    (NFF) who once said all the displaced mossies should be settled in Mannar (the rice bowl of the country) for
    their votes of course, traitor diaspora, Traitors National Alliance (TNA) etc. etc. Thanks a lot for ruining our country and
    giving it to the mossies.

  25. Ananda-USA Says:

    It seems that the BBS, which foreign and even some local media DEMONIZE as a communal party, has served a USEFUL PURPOSE in protecting Sri Lanka.

    The GOSL is RELOCATING those who ENCROACHED into the Wilpattu National Park.

    Now, let us have some ACTION against those GOSL Ministers and Officials who encouraged and tried to hide this ENCROACHMENT of a National Resource.

    Also, where there is smoke, there is likely to be a fire as well. Is this just the Tip of an Iceberg that hides far more illegal activity from our sight …. as the BBS claims? Is there a concerted attempt to create exclusive Moslem COLONIES that deny entry to other communities, using Wahabi funds secretly channeled into Sri Lanka? The GOSL should INVESTIGATE this also.

    ………………………
    Over 70 families encroaching Sri Lanka’s national park to be relocated

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Apr 27, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to relocate over 70 displaced families, who have settled in the Wilpattu National Park, in a land outside the Park.

    The government has allocated a 50-acre plot of land about a mile away from the park to resettle the 73 Muslim families, who have been living inside the national park boundaries, Mannar District Secretary M.Y.S. Deshapriya has said, according to a report in Sunday Observer.

    Their settlement inside the park has sparked protest by the extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena and by environmental organizations.

    Western Provincial Council Minister of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party, Udaya Gammanpila called on the government to initiate legal action against Commerce and Industry Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen over the alleged resettlement of Muslim people in the Wilpattu National Park.

    Gammanpila called for the authorities to take legal action against persons who have resettled people in the national park irrespective of their positions, party or religious differences.

    Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) last week surrounded Bathiyutheen’s Ministry to protest the alleged resettlement of Muslims in Wilpattu National Park.

    The Environment Conservation Trust, a green NGO last week alleged that over 500 acres of protected forest in the Wilpattu North Sanctuary had been cleared for settlements and authorities are not taking any actions against the destruction.

    Minister Bathiyutheen has said that he had no objection to the families being relocated and hoped the issue will not be dragged on by interested parties even after they are relocated.

    Mannar District Secretary’s office will assist the resettlement of the families in the new location.

  26. Lorenzo Says:

    This is a fantastic LAND GRABBING TACTIC!

    “The Sri Lankan government has taken measures to relocate over 70 displaced families, who have settled in the Wilpattu National Park, in a land outside the Park.

    Minister Bathiyutheen has said that he had no objection to the families being relocated and hoped the issue will not be dragged on by interested parties even after they are relocated.”

    IF someone wants to GRAB land, they go and squat near a national reserve. Then the govt. will give them STATE LAND free of charge!!!

    IF anyone looked at the video of “MARIKKAR village” these people had NO INTENTION to settle down there. Their houses were EMPTY. Obviously it was a CLEVER attempt to get STATE LAND FREE. They got it!!

    Now this model will be applied everywhere!!

  27. Ananda-USA Says:

    Fran Diaz,

    You are EXACTLY CORRECT, on the Labor problem in the Tea and Rubber estates: there is a shortage.

    The solution is not to REPEAT the ILLEGAL (in that it was against the wishes of the majority Sinhala residents) importation of Tamil labor from India to Sri Lanka as the British did, but to reduce the need for so much manual labor by introducing more technology into the industry.

    In doing so, the productivity of each worker and his/her skills will increase, so we can pay higher wages to more productive workers. As long as we don’t enable higher productivity, we wont be successful in keeping workers, except by importing even more desperate foreigner, until they too become citizens and abandon the work they arrived to do.

    Weeding, fertilizing and even picking of tea leaves can be largely semi-automated using relatively simple electrical portable power tools. The energy required for such machinery can be from electrical batteries, charged on the estate itself using solar panels, small windmills or mini-hydro turbines. I know this well, because I am implementing these ideas on tea and rubber lands my family owns and operates in Sri Lanka. Using the extra income from increased productivity, we are able to provide more services to our workers, including better housing, healthcare and higher wages, giving them less incentive to leave. Someday, technological innovations in agriculture, and the agricultural products they produce more efficiently, will command a premium price that will transform jobs of agricultural workers into sought after positions.

    Meanwhile, the workers will be happy for no new immigrants would have been imported to compete against them, keep their wages down, and displace and drive them into foreign lands as immigrants themselves!

  28. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Your view of this as a LAND GRABBING TACTIC is VERY INTERESTING, it simply did not occur to me!

    That would be TRUE, IF those people are NOT ENTITLED to being settled near the Wilpattu National Park. They would not be entitled to getting any land to SETTLE UPON there …

    1. If they are illegal immigrants from abroad, in which case they should be DEPORTED forthwith,

    2. If they did not own ANY LAND ANYWHERE else previously, and therefore, did not LOSE any land at all, in which case they should only be assisted to find places to rent,

    3. If the land they DID own, still exists somewhere else, perhaps in Jaffna that they were forcibly EXPELLED from. Then they should be restored to those lands instead of land near the Wilpattu National Park. In this case, the GOSL should not allow Tamil encroachers on Muslim land in Jaffna to get away scot free, and should transfer that land to those who lost it.

  29. Nanda Says:

    Ananda, Lorenzo,

    Illegal huts is 1 thing. The housing scheme built with Qatari money in the SECOND thing ( these are proper buildings with roads as the areal photo showed by Kumar Moses).
    Now, Mossies under 1 , are given better land elsewhere.

    Well done “Ma- Hinda Chintana” is working like a headless chicken !

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