Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has expressed opposition to a housing project in the Tamil-majority north which has been dubbed the “reconciliation village”.
On Thursday during the northern provincial council sessions TNA councillor T Sarveswaran said the housing scheme was a forcible settlement of the majority Sinhalese in lands belonging to the Tamils.
The village at Kokeliya in Vavuniya district is to be opened by President Maithripala Sirisena early next month.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Sarath Chandrasiri Withana however denied the TNA accusation.
“This is a state land not a private property,” Mr. Withana said. He said 51 people were allotted pieces of land out of 81 lots of land.
“This is a true reconciliation village with both Sinhalese and Tamils. There are six families of Tamil female soldiers currently in military service,” Mr. Withana said as he denied any racial discrimination in awarding lands.
Tamils are demanding the release of their lands held for military purposes throughout the 35-year civil war which ended in 2009.
Since 2015 the government has released such lands periodically as its moves to achieve national reconciliation.