A Chinese agency has been given the right to explore for oil along the coast from Point Pedro to the Batticaloa District going 9 miles into the sea from the coast. Strangely the exploration rights have been signed over by the government’s archaelogy agency.
These designs came to light when the water resources authority was informed so that fisherfolk may not have their livelihood disrupted, and Chinese workers held meetings over the past two days with the Jaffna and Mullaitivu Water Resources authorities.
These water resources executives have been informed that these explorations will be carried out up to 9 miles from the coast for a period of 72 days.
It is noted that as India seeks greater involvement in Sri Lanka, China appears to be countering that through its own projects.
China’s ongoing archaeological excavations on one if the islands West of the peninsula are remarkable. They are said to be looking for the remains of a Chinese ship and its trading ware that sank 500 years ago.
A retired academic said he was puzzled by the archaeology folk’s legitimacy in oil exploration, given their reputation for identifying and declaring the remnants of Tamil Buddhism and findings of South Indian Brahmi inscriptions as belonging to the Sinhalese from a period when there was no Sinhalese language. Buddhist temples, then, using the authority of our archaeologis, sprout all over in places where the only worshippers are from the army.
He added that this is ominous in a period when the government killed tens of thousands of Tamils in Mullivaikal and is bringing Sinhalese to colonize Mullaitivu with focus on Manal Aru which they have renamed as Weli Oya. “Is the government using China to counter the respect that many Tamils have for India?” he asked.
(Reporting for Colombo Telegraph by N. Logathayalan from Jaffna.)