The “pokuru gammana” (පොකුරු ගමිමාන) initiative does not bode well for innocent villagers.
Sri Lanka’s great strength is its thousands of villages scattered across the island. It is from this simple life that some of our greatest heroes and leaders have emerged. And it is the Sri Lankan village – with its paddy fields, reservoirs, and temples – that forms the basic foundation of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilization, and which allowed this civilization to flourish over three millennia.
The majority of our people live in villages. The majority of our soldiers come from villages. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s strongest support comes from the villages. And let us not forget that it was the villages that suffered the brunt of the terrorist crimes committed by the foreign-backed Tamil terrorist war machine.
Mahinda helped the villages throughout his tenure as president. He ensured decent prices for village produce, began an unprecedented programme of electricity, clean water, and telecommunications provision, improved transport links and access to education facilities.
Villagers therefore recognized Mahinda as the one politician of recent times who was truly on their side. It is for this reason that even at the time of his lowest popularity, at the January 8 election, Mahinda won virtually every single Sinhalese-majority district.
So it must alarm everyone that Ranil is now targeting Sri Lanka’s villages. The plan is to amalgamate the 25,000 villages we currently have into 2,500 Hub Villages, “pokuru gammana, පොකුරු ගමිමාන” which will contain 10 current villages.
Ranil says each Hub Village will have its own market and training center. He says creating these Hubs of 10 villages will allow better provision of services such as education and healthcare.
Ranil explains his plans in the clip below. Stop the video once Mahinda comes on.
However as with everything Ranil plots, there is always an ulterior motive.
First of all, how does he plan on actually creating these Hubs? Is he going to physically relocate 10 existing villages? Doesn’t this mean he will be destroying 90% of the homes and communities of the majority population?
What if the people in them don’t want to move? Will he send a Nazi-style village equivalent of the FCID (named the Village Crimes Investigation Division, or VCID, replete with long black trenchcoats and motorcycles, no doubt) to expel villagers from their ancestral homes and demolish their houses and temples?
Where will the funds come from to build the new Hub villages? How will the Hub village’s location be decided? Will temples be built also? And what happens to the livelihood of the farmers when overnight they suddenly find themselves far away from their fields?
What would such a mass movement of people from their ancestral homelands against their will, which could also be called ethnic cleansing, create? Certainly, it would bring populations of Sinhalese physically closer together. That way they can more easily be controlled through martial law orders, as they are all concentrated. In fact, one could even call these Hub villages, concentration camps for Sinhalese Buddhists.
Given Ranil and Sirisena’s dictatorial tendencies, I think this might even be what they are planning. As has been noted with great concern before on this blog, Ranil and Sirisena seem to be taking a lot of their ideas right out of Hitler’s fascist playbook.
The social costs of moving large numbers of people from their familial villages to alien Hubs (concentration camps) would also be huge. All kinds of problems will be caused as people are forced into the cramped, squalid, slums which Ranil plans to build. Diseases like malaria, dengu and MERS will spread rapidly among the high-density population. And without jobs, crime, alcoholism and drug addiction will skyrocket.
Demolishing and clearing the villages in this way also creates huge tracts of fertile land, unbroken by numerous dwellings. Surely, this would make the land perfect for plunder by multinational corporations such as Monsanto, the genetically modified foods giant.
Ranil would be more than happy to sell this land to Monsanto on freehold basis. Then Monsanto could clear the paddy fields, destroy the reservoirs, and replace rice fields with wheat and maize.
Ranil would then say this was needed as the foreign markets demanded bread. The proud farmers who for generations upon generations grew rice, would be forced to work as virtual slaves, for a pittance, on what was once their own land, to grow alien food for foreign masters. It would be colonization and the imposition of a British-style plantation economy all over again.
Such a turn of events would be devastating for the rural economy, and therefore, would be a noose around the neck of every single Sinhalese.
This way, the entire foundation of Sri Lankan civilization will be destroyed, and with it our national strength and resolve. Our ability to fight enemies will be severely weakened and our ability to spread knowledge, culture and history throughout the population will end as the village temple becomes a distant memory.
Ranil is up to no good, yet again.
His impending assault on village life must be prevented from happening.
Foil his plans! Vote for Mahinda! Save the villages!