Wild elephants that have been brought from the jungles in South to jungles close to Tamil villages in Batticaloa have claimed the lives of 13 Tamils in Batticaloa district since December 2012 to December 2013, Eastern Provincial forest officials said. Seven persons have been handicapped in the assaults by the wild elephants. 12 of the slain victims were men. Many of the families of victims have not been provided compensation. 45 houses have been destroyed partly or fully.
Despite the complaints from the people and their representatives, the forest department officials from Colombo have been bringing wild elephants from Hambantota.
The wild elephants often reach settlement areas and agricultural lands, searching for water, and destroy the properties of the resettled Tamils.
The villagers complain that the elephants are deployed to force them away from their native villages.
Following are the details of victims slain and injured in the assault by the wild elephants within the past year:
K. Kanagasabai, N. Kathirgamathamby and S. Muthulingam were the victims slain in Ma’nmunai West (Vavu’natheevu) DS division.
S. Sinnavan, J. Thasmil and S. Vinayagamoorthy lost their lives and A. Asservatham has sustained injuries in Ea’raavoorpattu (Chengkaladi) DS division.
S. Saravanamuththu, K. Kanesamoorthy and S. Rasanayagam were killed by wild elephants in Poaratheevup-pattu (Vellaave’li) DS division.
Two persons, S. Ponnthuthurai and K. Yogeswaran, were killed in Ma’nmuani South West (Paddippazhai) DS division. M. Azhakurasa sustained injuries.
Ms Valliyammai lost her life and two men, V. Rasalingam and K. Pathmanathan sustained injuries in Koa’ra’laip-pattu North (Vaakarai) DS division.
K. Raveendrasingam was killed in Ko’ra’laip-pattu South (Kiraan) division.
The threat by wild elephants is reported in the following villages in Batticaloa: Chelvaa-puram Colony (38), 7th division, Navakkiri-nakar, Tha’lavaayk-kaadu, Thikkoadai, Charava’naiyadi-yoottu and Viveakaanantha-puram in Poaratheevup-pattu (Vellaave’li) DS division; Katchat-kodi, Kevu’liyaa-madu, 40th Mile Post and Thaanthaa-malai in Ma’nmunai South-West (Paddippazhai) DS division; Unnichchai, Karaveddiyaa’ru, Rasathurai-nakar, Nediya-madu, Pancheanai, Ka’ndiyanaa’ru, Kaanthi-nakar, Iru-noo’ru-vil, Chippi-madu, Paavat-kodich-cheanai, Ka’n’naki-nakar, Maavilang-ka’ndadich-cheanai, Ooththu-madu, Katpak-kea’ni and Paththaraik-kaddai in Ma’nmunai-West (Vavu’natheevu) DS division; Eera’lak-ku’lam, Periya-pullu-malai, Maanthoaddam, Kochchith-thoaddam and Aththa-va’lak-kaadu surrounding the Kiraan-pul anicut in U’rukaamam in Ea’raavoor-pattu (Chengkaladi).