Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 14 February 2015
Presidential Homeland Rate for Northern Fishermen
Today’s mail included the news with a report by D.B.S.Jeyaraj – with the headlines: Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran meets President Sirisena and “Explains” his Northern Provincial Council Resolution on “Genocide of Tamils”.
I myself was trying to work out the karmic path in relation to the above Resolution, so that my contributions to self-governance in Sri Lanka would be ‘free’ of desire based politics. To me ‘freedom’ is the parallel of politics and independence is the parallel of self-governance. Former is the manifestation of the latter. When the freedom shown is more than the independence felt – then it needs to be channeled through the Administrative path based on independence realized by others. When this is done collectively on the basis of belief based majority vote at the primary level – it is a political decision. When it is on the basis of consolidated belief and therefore through use of common principles and laws – it is an Administrative decision. Unpracticed principles through which status is often claimed often leads to expressions of ‘freedom’ without an independence root. Right is a flow of independence. The question is whether the Resolution is political or administrative.
As per the above report ‘Chief minister Wigneswaran had also told President Sirisena that the resolution was an “expression of the emotions and feelings of the Tamil people” and was aimed at ensuring that the Tamil question remained a live issue on the international radar.’
That confirms that it is for the purpose of International Politics and not for the purpose of local Administration – not at the moment. The Northern Provincial Council has the responsibility to integrate the consolidated value of this Resolution in the Administration of Northern Province and do so independent of the National Administration. One way would be to identify groups of communities with special needs and seek global resources on project basis – so those victims would have the opportunity to be valued by the International Community as part of themselves. One such area of opportunity seems interestingly enough to be the fishing village of Myliddy. Myliddy is part of the area that was home to LTTE leader. The background is reported as follows:
‘Chief among topics discussed was the question of Indian fishers poaching in Sri Lanka’s northern territorial waters….. The chief minister along with provincial fisheries minister Deneeswaran briefed the president of the prevailing situation in the northern fishing sector today. It was pointed out that fishermen from Tamil Nadu were emboldened by the lack of action by the Sri Lankan navy after the change of Govt in Sri Lanka after January 8th this year. As such the Tamil Nadu fishers were entering and poaching in northern waters en masse on a scale never seen before. Fishing gear of Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen were deliberately damaged and destroyed by the Tamil Nadu fishers who intimidated the Sri Lankans by sheer numbers.
Wigneswaran suggested that both countries engage in joint patrolling of coastal waters to prevent poaching. He also recommended that bottom trawling be prohibited.
Chief minister Wigneswaran also urged that lands under army control be returned to the rightful owners and that Tamils under detention for terrorism related charges be released as soon as possible.
President Sirisena lent a sympathetic ear to the issues raised by Wigneswaran and assured him that they would be addressed gradually but speedily. He said that Sri Lankan officials would take up the fishing issue in detail with their Indian counterparts while he himself would touch on the subject in his direct discussion with Indian premier Narendra Modi….. President Sirisena also said that there are areas in the North where the lands cannot be returned at the present juncture due to national security considerations. One such area was the coastal village of Myliddy which now forms part of a security triangle with Palaly and Kankesanthurai.President Sirisena said that the Government would set up a model village in the North and re-settle displaced families from Myliddy there. He told Wigneswaran that cabinet had sanctioned this project.
According to Govt officials 1022 families from Myliddy now scattered in 14 places in the Vadamaratchy sector will be re-setled in the coastal village of Vallalaai which is about 4 miles away from Myliddy. Currently the families engaging in the traditional occupation of fishing do so from Point Pedro in an area known as “Myliddithurai”. After being re-settled in Vallalasai they will be given permission to fish from the Myliddy coast if they wished but not be allowed to reside there
According to Govt officials 1022 Myliddy families now will be given 20 perches each in an area of 220 acres coming under J/284 Grama Sevaka division in Vallalaai. Grants will be provided to construct houses under a model village scheme. Schools, a hospital and community centres would be constructed. Provision will be made to set up religious places of worship in the new model village.’
If Tamils to whom Myliddy is home are to be compensated for loss of their homeland – the value must be at the highest national level – as if the land was around the Home of the decision maker – the President. ‘Home for Home’ is the confirmation of Equal Opportunity. Allocating 20 perches in Vallalaai is an insult to the Tamils to whom Myliddy is home. The folks of Myliddy would have owned various extents of land before the exodus. The land compensation needs to be proportionate to the area lost and not a uniform area of 20 perches. It is important to recreate the traditional structure prior to the evacuation. The rate per unit area, as stated above, needs to be the Presidential rate. The President cannot be expected to compensate at a higher rate than he would compensate himself for loss of his home. If the International Community – especially the Tamil Diaspora - seeks to raise this value – they ought to be facilitated to do so through special projects which would show the money value of their contribution.
Everyone who is serious about ‘rights’ needs to take this opportunity to at least show their own valuation so that the land value lost is escalated to human value – towards developing a Tamil Nation which would strengthen all nations that are home to Tamils.
When the self-esteem of the Myliddy fisher folks is high due to their high value homes – they would feel greater confidence to protect their waters from Indian poachers. That is how - the homemaker’s high standards raise the mind of the money and status-making spouse – when those home standards are appreciated and carried by the latter to the workplace and beyond.