Demographic 'engineering'

Tamils say many government schemes changed the ethnic composition of their areas.

    Development plans were allegedly used to resettle the Sinhalese [GALLO/GETTY ]
    The Sri Lankan government is alleged to have systematically used many of its development schemes to resettle Sinhalese from the south in Tamil dominated areas of the north and east.

     

    The Tamils point to the Gal-Oya dam project in the Batticaloa region as an example.

     

    They say the Tamil families displaced by the project had first claim on the land surrounding the new reservoir. Instead, prime land was given to Sinhalese colonists brought in from the south.

     

    This and other such schemes changed the ethnic composition of the entire area.

     

    The Tamils, who for centuries had considered this area as their homeland, say they were outnumbered by new Sinhalese settlers. It led to discontent and tension which remain unresolved after decades.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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