Tamil Makkal Thesiya Koottani (TMTK) MP C. V. Wigneswaran said yesterday, Tamils in the North and East were facing issues as they were prevented from continuing their cultivation activities due to claims that certain paddy lands were archaeological sites.
He told parliament that a venerable Bhikku member of the Eastern Archaeological Task Force recently prevented the farmers from entering nearly 1, 000 acres coming under the Trinco – Kuchchaveli Pradeshiya Sabha Division in Thiriyayi.
“Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Around 40% of our people are farmers. But some of our people are unable to do farming in their own traditional areas in recent times,” he said.
“We have not even identified the so called archaeological sites as to whether they belong to the time when those areas were occupied by Tamil Buddhists or Sinhala Buddhists. If those so called sites were Buddhist remains from the time of Demala Baudhayos the decision to preserve those areas must come from the Tamils of those areas, not from a Pan Sinhala Task Force.
We will have a Commission consisting of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Foreign Historians well versed in South Asian History to sit and identify the period when the Sinhalese language was born. Buddhism and Sinhalese are not coextensive,” he said.
The MP said the Tamil people who have been prevented from cultivating their lands must be allowed to continue with their agricultural activities and urged the Prime Minister to look into the matter. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)