Ancient coastal village in Jaffna transformed into ‘Sinhala Military Zone’ resort

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, 23:07 GMT]
The native villagers from Mayiliddi in Jaffna have witnessed this week, from distance, how their houses and the coastal strip have been transformed into a Sinhala Military Zone and a resort for the families of occupying military and Sinhala visitors from South with connection to Colombo's military Establishment. Mayiliddi, situated between KKS and Palaali, was the major fishing port of Eezham Tamils in Jaffna for centuries and was surrounded by fertile agricultural villages. On Pongkal Day, occupying Colombo was waging a propaganda that a fishing port was handed back to resettling people. What was released to people only a narrow access of 400 meters of a fishing jetty situated close to KKS at Oo'ra'ni. The uprooted fishermen, who went to Oo'ra'ni were able to witness how Mayiliddi coast has been transformed into a Sinhala Military Zone.

Mobile vehicle-based shops by SL military in KKS
SL military has deployed mobile vehicle-based shops inside Sinhala Military Zone in Valikaamam North. The houses of Eezham Tamils have been transformed into resort residences for SL Navy commanders and their visitors
Sinhala Military Zone
Sinhala Military Zone in Oo'ra'ni


A long military bund has been put up during the times of war to disable landing by the Sea Tigers. This military bund is still kept intact and the fishermen are only allowed to use the 400 meters of jetty to access the sea off Oo'ra'ni. The released ‘jetty’ was not really a jetty used by the fishermen. There are four coastal jetties in Oo'ra'ni alone, and none of them were released to people, according to the representatives of fishermen society.

The move of releasing a selected area as jetty to the fishermen, came after the fishermen society was complaining about fishermen being unable to access their sea despite their village has been released. Although the residential area was released last year, the entire coastal strip has been under the control of SL Navy.

Even to reach the released ‘jetty’ area, the people have to travel through a fenced-off road, separating them along both the sides with barbed-wires, from the SL Navy ‘administered’ area. The people have to transport everything, including their boats, through this ‘access road’ to the jetty.

The SL Navy ‘administered’ coastal stretch extends through Mayiliddi, situated further east of Oo'rani.

Many of the houses belonging to Eezham Tamils in Mayiliddi before the area was seized and declared a ‘High Security Zone’ by the occupying SL military, have now become modified resort residences for families and visitors associated with Sinhala navy commanders and the SL military Establishment, the fishermen from Oo'ra'ni said.

In the meantime, the SL military commander in Jaffna, Major General Mahesh Senanayake, has also admitted that Mayiliddi will not be released back to its people. He has further said that the fate of Mayiliddi was entirely at the hands of the SL Navy, fishermen society representatives from KKS told TamilNet.

Coastal stretch of Mayiliddi
The coastal stretch of Mayiliddi as shown in British made One Inch Map, which was later revised by Ceylon Survey Department in 1959


Maathakal
The location of Mayiliddi between Maathakal and Point Pedro. [Satellite Image Courtesy- NASA, Visible Earth. Details & Legend by TamilNet]


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