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Sri Lanka relaunches controversial Sinhala settlement scheme in North-East

The Sri Lankan government has opened a new village in the Tamil North-East of the island, as part of a revival of a controversial Sinhala colonisation program.

The ‘Village Reawakening’ program was declared open by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa at Weli Oya today. Houses were constructed on land gifted to villagers by the Sri Lankan government and with loans provided at concessionary rates of interest.

The scheme is an apparent relaunch of a program started by Mr Premadasa’s father, former president Ranasinghe Premadasa. Weli Oya has been the site of a Sri Lankan government orchestrated project for decades, where Sinhala farmers from the South were settled to the North-East.

Last year the army declared open a community hall, built for a Sinhala military village at the village in Mullaitivu.

In October, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena stated that he backed the project, which was also continued by his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, and that he hoped to complete other similar projects during his tenure.

See our earlier posts:

Army constructs community hall for Sinhala military village in North-East (28 Oct 2015)

Mullaitivu villagers protest against Sinhala colonisation (19 Jan 2016)

Sri Lankan president pays tribute to UNP minister (25 Oct 2015)

Rajapaksa hands over 3000 land deeds to Mahaweli farmers (22 Apr 2013)