Eastern Province, Sri Lanka

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Eastern Province

கிழக்கு மாகாணம்
නැගෙනහිර පළාත
Batticaloa lagoon, sunset.jpg
Sunset over Batticaloa Lagoon
Sri Lanka Eastern Province locator map.svg
Location within Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 07°55′N81°30′E / 7.917°N 81.500°E / 7.917; 81.500 Coordinates: 07°55′N81°30′E / 7.917°N 81.500°E / 7.917; 81.500
Country Sri Lanka
Created1 October 1833
Provincial council 14 November 1987
Capital Trincomalee
Largest City Kalmunai
Districts
Government
  Type Provincial council
  Body Eastern Provincial Council
   Governor Anuradha Yahampath
   MPs
Area
[1]
  Total9,996 km2 (3,859 sq mi)
  Land9,361 km2 (3,614 sq mi)
  Water635 km2 (245 sq mi)  6.35%
Area rank2nd (15.24% of total area)
Population
 (2012 census) [2]
  Total1,551,381
  Rank6th (7.66% of total pop.)
  Density160/km2 (400/sq mi)
Ethnicity
(2012 census) [2]
   Sri Lankan Tamil 609,584 (39.29%)
   Sri Lankan Moors 569,182 (36.69%)
   Sinhalese 359,136 (23.15%)
   Indian Tamil 7,711 (0.50%)
  Other5,768 (0.37%)
Religion
(2012 census) [3]
   Muslim 575,936 (37.12%)
   Hindu 539,570 (34.78%)
   Buddhist 354,772 (22.87%)
   Christian 80,801 (5.21%)
  Other302 (0.02%)
Time zone UTC+05:30 (Sri Lanka)
Post Codes
30000-32999
Telephone Codes 026, 063, 065, 067
ISO 3166 code LK-5
Vehicle registration EP
Official Languages Tamil, Sinhalese
Website www.ep.gov.lk

The Eastern Province (Tamil : கிழக்கு மாகாணம்Kiḻakku Mākāṇam; Sinhala : නැගෙනහිර පළාතNæ̆gĕnahira Paḷāta) is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. [4] [5] Between 1988 and 2006 the province was temporarily merged with the Northern Province to form the North Eastern Province. The capital of the province is Trincomalee.

Contents

History

Batticaloa Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1628 Batticaloa Portuguese (dutch) fort.jpg
Batticaloa Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1628
Developed Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa Road Batticaloa - Polonnaruwa Road (near Punanai).JPG
Developed Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa Road
New Oddamavadi Bridge Ottamavadi Bridge - inside view.JPG
New Oddamavadi Bridge

In 1815 the British gained control of the entire island of Ceylon. They divided the island into three ethnic based administrative structures: Low Country Sinhalese, Kandyan Sinhalese and Tamil. The Eastern Province was part of the Tamil administration. In 1833, in accordance with the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission, the ethnic based administrative structures were unified into a single administration divided into five geographic provinces. [6] The districts of Batticaloa, Bintenna (part of present-day Badulla District), Tamankaduva (present day Polonnaruwa District) and Trincomalee formed the new Eastern Province. [7] Tamankaduva was transferred to the newly created North Central Province in 1873 and Bintenna was transferred to the newly created Uva Province in 1886. [8] [5]

The Indo-Lanka Accord signed on 29 July 1987 required the Sri Lankan government to devolve powers to the provinces and, in the interim, to merge the Northern and Eastern provinces into one administrative unit. The accord required a referendum to be held by 31 December 1988 in the Eastern Province to decide whether the merger should be permanent. Crucially, the accord allowed the Sri Lankan president to postpone the referendum at his discretion. [9]

On 14 November 1987 the Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987, establishing provincial councils. [5] [10] On September 2 and 8 1988 President Jayewardene issued proclamations enabling the Northern and Eastern provinces to be one administrative unit administered by one elected Council. [11] The North-East Province was born.

The proclamations were only meant to be a temporary measure until a referendum was held in the Eastern Province on a permanent merger between the two provinces. However, the referendum was never held and successive Sri Lankan presidents issued proclamations annually extending the life of the "temporary" entity. [12]

The merger was bitterly opposed by Sri Lankan nationalists. The combined North-East Province occupied one fourth of Sri Lanka. The thought of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam controlling this province, directly or indirectly, alarmed them greatly. On 14 July 2006, after a long campaign against the merger, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna political party filed three separate petitions with the Supreme Court requesting a separate provincial council for the East. [11] On 16 October 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that the proclamations issued by President Jayewardene were null and void and had no legal effect. [11] The North-East Province was formally de-merged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007.

Much of the Eastern Province was under the control of rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for many years during the civil war. The entire province was recaptured by the Sri Lankan military in 2007. After coming under Government control communities in the Eastern Province suffered from insecurity in the form of illegal taxes, political killings, abductions. Many community members blamed Pro-Government Tamil groups such as the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). [13] In 2008 due to the indiscriminate firearm use by various Tamil factions government planned to disarm Tamil Paramilitary groups. [14] However the TMVP kept arms due to threat of LTTE and denied they were active in Civilian areas. [15] TMVP was finally disarmed in 2009 after the LTTE was defeated. [16]

The Eastern Province has received at least $500 million from international donors since coming under the control of the government of Sri Lanka in 2007, according to the International Crisis Group. [17] Since the end of the war the Eastern Province has seen considerable development under the Nagenahira Navodaya (Eastern Revival) program which include various agricultural, infrastructural and Social development projects. These include the construction and repairing of roads, schools, hospitals, resettlement of IDPs and construction of Nanasala ICT centers. [18] There are currently 88 Nanasala ICT education centers in the Eastern Province. [19] Other Projects include reconstructing the Walai Iravu bridge which was destroyed by the LTTE, developing the Weber stadium in the Batticaloa town, increasing agricultural production, construction of Manmunai, Vavunativu and New Oddamavadi bridges, carpeting roads, constructing 48,000 houses in the Eastern province for the people who live below the poverty line, [20] developing the Trincomalee Harbour, construction of the Sampur Power Station, Development of Maritime park and a Maritime Museum in Trincomalee, creation of the Sampur industrial zone, [21] [22] development of bus stands, canals and the Oluvil Harbour in Ampara district. [23] [24]

Geography

Fishing boats on Batticaloa lagoon Batticaloa lagoon, fishing boats.jpg
Fishing boats on Batticaloa lagoon

Eastern province has an area of 9,996 square kilometres (3,859 sq mi). [1]

The province is surrounded by the Northern Province to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Southern Province to the south, and the Uva, Central and North Central provinces to the west.

The province's coast is dominated by lagoons, the largest being Batticaloa Lagoon, Kokkilai lagoon, Upaar Lagoon and Ullackalie Lagoon.

Administrative units, cities and towns

Administrative units

The Eastern Province is divided into 3 administrative districts, 45 Divisional Secretary's Divisions (DS Divisions) and 1,085 Grama Niladhari Divisions (GN Divisions).

District Capital District Secretary DS
Divisions
GN
Divisions
Total
Area
(km2) [1]
Land
Area
(km2) [1]
Population (2012 Census) [2] Population
Density
(/km2)
Sri Lankan Tamil Sri Lankan Moors Sinhalese Indian Tamil OtherTotal
Ampara Ampara Thusitha P Wanigasinghe205074,4154,222112,750282,484251,0181651,640648,057147
Batticaloa Batticaloa P. S. M. Charles143482,8542,610381,285133,8446,1271,0152,871525,142184
Trincomalee Trincomalee T. Thissa Ranjith de Silva112302,7272,529115,549152,854101,9916,5311,257378,182139
Total451,0859,9969,361609,584569,182359,1367,7115,7681,551,381155

Major cities and towns

City/town District Population
(2012
est)
[25]
Kalmunai Ampara 106,783
Trincomalee Trincomalee 99,135
Batticaloa Batticaloa 92,332
Kattankudy Batticaloa 40,883
Eravur Batticaloa 25,582
Ampara Ampara 20,309

Demographics

Population

The Eastern province's population was 1,551,381 in 2012. [2] The province is the most diverse in Sri Lanka, both ethnically and religiously.

The population of the province, like that of the Northern Province, was heavily affected by the civil war. The war killed an estimated 100,000 people. [26] Several hundred thousand Sri Lankan Tamils, possibly as much as one million, emigrated to the West during the war. [27] Many Sri Lankan Tamils also moved to the relative safety of the capital Colombo. The conflict has also caused some of the Tamils, Moors and Sinhalese who lived in the province to flee to other parts of Sri Lanka, though most of them have returned to the province since the end of the civil war.

Ethnicity

Population of Eastern Province by ethnic group 1881 to 2012 [2] [28] [29] [30] [31]
Year Tamil [lower-alpha 1] Muslim [lower-alpha 2] Sinhalese OtherTotal
No.
No.%No.%No.%No.%
1881 Census75,31858.96%43,00133.66%5,9474.66%3,4892.73%127,755
1891 Census86,70158.41%51,20634.50%7,5085.06%3,0292.04%148,444
1901 Census96,91755.83%62,44835.97%8,7785.06%5,4593.14%173,602
1911 Census101,18155.08%70,39538.32%6,9093.76%5,2132.84%183,698
1921 Census103,24553.54%75,99239.41%8,7444.53%4,8402.51%192,821
1946 Census136,05948.75%109,02439.06%23,4568.40%10,5733.79%279,112
1953 Census167,89847.37%135,32238.18%46,47013.11%4,7201.33%354,410
1963 Census246,05945.03%184,43433.75%108,63619.88%7,3451.34%546,474
1971 Census315,56643.98%247,17834.45%148,57220.70%6,2550.87%717,571
1981 Census410,15642.06%315,43632.34%243,70124.99%5,9880.61%975,251
2001 Census [lower-alpha 3] n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
2007 Enumeration590,13240.39%549,85737.64%316,10121.64%4,8490.33%1,460,939
2012 Census617,29539.79%569,73836.72%359,13623.15%5,2120.34%1,551,381

Religion

Population of Eastern Province by religion 1981 to 2012 [3] [32]
Year Muslim Hindu Buddhist Christian [lower-alpha 4] OtherTotal
No.
No.%No.%No.%No.%No.%
1981 Census317,35432.54%372,46438.19%237,41624.34%47,1124.83%9050.09%975,251
2012 Census575,93637.12%539,57034.78%354,77222.87%80,8015.21%3020.02%1,551,381

Economy

The Trincomalee Harbour which plays a huge role in Province's economy TrincomaleeHabour.jpg
The Trincomalee Harbour which plays a huge role in Province's economy

The Eastern Province has a primary agriculture based economy and is commonly known as the "Granary of Sri Lanka". It contributes 25% of national paddy production, 17% of national milk production and 21% of national fish production. Maize cultivation is expanding, large scale maize cultivation with hybrid seeds and contractual marketing has increased production significantly and it is targeted to produce 25 per cent of the country's maize requirement. The Industrial sector contributed 34% of the Province's GDP and export processing zones like the Trincomalee EPZ and Sampur Heavy Industrial Zone have been developed to boost the Industrial sector alongside the Trincomalee Harbour which is being developed for Break bulk, Bulk cargo and industrial activities including heavy industries. [33] [34] [35] [36]

The province benefits from a large tourism industry with many seaside resorts and hotels situated mainly in lagoons as well as beaches such as Pasikudah, Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Kalkudah. [36] Historic sites and other natural attractions such as Pigeon Island, coral reefs contribute to the industry. [37] [38] [39] [40]

Government and politics

Provincial council

The 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. The first elections for provincial councils took place on 28 April 1988 in North Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, and Uva provinces. [41]

Elections in the newly merged North-East Province were scheduled for 19 November 1988. However, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), which at that time occupied the North-East Province, rigged the elections in the north so that the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF), two Indian backed paramilitary groups, won all of the 36 seats in the north uncontested. [42] However, elections did take place for the 35 seats in the east. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress won 17 seats, EPRLF 12 seats, ENDLF 5 seats and the United National Party 1 seat. On 10 December 1988 Annamalai Varatharajah Perumal of the EPRLF became the first Chief Minister of the North-East Provincial Council. [42]

On 1 March 1990, just as the IPKF were preparing to withdraw from Sri Lanka, Permual moved a motion in the North-East Provincial Council declaring an independent Eelam. [43] President Premadasa reacted to Permual's UDI by dissolving the provincial council and imposing direct rule on the province.

The north-east was ruled directly from Colombo until May 2008 when elections were held in the demerged Eastern Province (the Northern Province continued to be governed from Colombo).

See also

Notes

  1. Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian Tamil.
  2. Sri Lankan Moors and Sri Lankan Malays.
  3. 2001 Census was only carried out partially in the Eastern province.
  4. Roman Catholic and Other Christian.

Related Research Articles

Provinces of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, provinces are the first level administrative division. They were first established by the British rulers of Ceylon in 1833. Over the next century most of the administrative functions were transferred to the districts, the second level administrative division. By the middle of the 20th century the provinces had become merely ceremonial. This changed in 1987 when, following several decades of increasing demand for a decentralization, the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Currently there are nine provinces.

Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), previously known as the "Karuna Group", is a political party in Sri Lanka. It was formed by Karuna Amman, a former leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, after he defected from the organization in 2004. Initially a paramilitary group that helped the Sri Lankan Government fight the Tamil Tigers, the TMVP was registered as a political party in 2007. Under deputy leader Pillayan, they contested their first provincial elections in 2008, winning a majority in the Eastern Provincial Council. Members of the TMVP continue to carry arms under the auspices of the Sri Lankan government, which they claim is for their own safety from the Tamil Tigers, who carry out repeated attacks against them. The group is believed to be working with the Sri Lankan Army. They have been accused of human rights violation by local and international human rights organization.

Tamil National Alliance centre-left political alliance in Sri Lanka

The Tamil National Alliance is a political alliance in Sri Lanka that represents the country's Sri Lankan Tamil minority. It was formed in October 2001 by a group of moderate Tamil nationalist parties and former militant groups. The alliance originally supported self-determination in an autonomous state for the island's Tamils. It supported negotiations with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to resolve the civil war in Sri Lanka. The TNA was considered a political proxy of the LTTE which selected some of its candidates even though its leadership maintains it never supported the LTTE and merely negotiated with the LTTE just as the Government did.

The Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) is a series of Sri Lankan political parties and a former militant separatist group.

North Eastern Province, Sri Lanka Historical Province in Sri Lanka

The North Eastern Province was one of the provinces of Sri Lanka. The province was created in September 1988 by merging the Northern and Eastern provinces. This merger was declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 2006. The province was formally demerged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007. The capital of the province was Trincomalee.

The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), also known as the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers, is a former Tamil militant group in Sri Lanka. Most of the EROS membership was absorbed into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1990. The rump, which continues to use the EROS name, has transformed itself into a pro-government paramilitary group and political party. EROS' political wing is known as the Eelavar Democratic Front.

Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups rose to prominence in the 1970s to fight the state of Sri Lanka in order to create an independent Tamil Eelam in the north of Sri Lanka. They rose in response to the perception among minority Sri Lankan Tamils that the state was preferring the majority Sinhalese for educational opportunities and government jobs. By the end of 1987, the militants had fought not only the Sri Lankan security forces but also the Indian Peace Keeping Force. They also fought among each other briefly, with the main Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel group dominating the others. The militants represented inter-generational tensions, as well as the caste and ideological differences. Except for the LTTE, many of the remaining organizations have morphed into minor political parties within the Tamil National Alliance, or as standalone political parties. Some Tamil militant groups also functioned as paramilitaries within the Sri Lankan military against separatist militants.

Tamil Eelam Proposed independent state in Sri Lanka

Tamil Eelam is a proposed independent state that many Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The name is derived from the ancient Tamil name for Sri Lanka, Eelam. Tamil Eelam, although encompassing the traditional homelands of Sri Lankan Tamils, does not have official status or recognition by world states. Large sections of the North-East were under de facto control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for most of the 1990s–2000s.

Eelam War IV

Eelam War IV is the name given to the fourth phase of armed conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Renewed hostilities began on the 26 July 2006, when Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets bombed several LTTE camps around Mavil Aru anicut. The government's casus belli was that the LTTE had cut off the water supply to surrounding paddy fields in the area. Shutting down the sluice gates of the Mavil Aru on July 21 depriving the water to over 15,000 people - Sinhalese and Muslim settlers under Sri Lankan state-sponsored colonisation schemes in Trincomalee district. They were denied of water for drinking and also cultivating over 30,000 acres of paddy and other crops. The fighting resumed after a four-year ceasefire between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and LTTE. Continued fighting led to several territorial gains for the Sri Lankan Army, including the capture of Sampur, Vakarai and other parts of the east. The war took on an added dimension when the LTTE Air Tigers bombed Katunayake airbase on March 26, 2007, the first rebel air attack without external assistance in history.

Eastern Theater of Eelam War IV

The Eastern Theater of Eelam War IV, the warfare started in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka on July 21, 2006, when the LTTE cut off the water supply to the rice fields in the Mavil aru area in the eastern Trincomalee district. The government military claimed the total control of the Eastern province after capturing the Thoppigala on July 11, 2007 after nearly a year of fighting.

2008 Sri Lanka Eastern Provincial Council election

The Sri Lanka Eastern Provincial Council elections, 2008 was held on May 10, 2008 to elect members to Sri Lanka’s Eastern Provincial Council. Following the successful completion of local government elections in the Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka’s Elections Department announced on March 14 that the elections for the Eastern Provincial Council were to be held in May, after a lapse of 20 years. It was only the second time direct elections are held to select members for the council, and first time for the Eastern Provincial Council alone, after it was separated from the North-Eastern Provincial Council in 2006.

Eastern Provincial Council

The Eastern Provincial Council is the provincial council for the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka. In accordance with the Sri Lankan constitution, EPC has legislative power over a variety of matters including agriculture, education, health, housing, local government, planning, road transport and social services. The constitution also gives it powers over police and land but successive central governments have refused to devolve these powers to the provinces. EPC has 37 members elected using the open list proportional representation system.

Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, served as Chief Minister of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. He is also the leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), a political party in Sri Lanka. A former armed fighter of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization, Chandrakanthan broke away from the Tamil Tigers along with Karuna Amman in April 2004, and became the deputy leader of the breakaway faction, renamed as the TMVP.

1988 North Eastern Provincial Council election

Provincial Council elections were held on 19 November 1988 to elect members to Sri Lanka’s North Eastern Provincial Council.

Northern Province, Sri Lanka Province of Sri Lanka

The Northern Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was temporarily merged with the Eastern Province to form the North Eastern Province. The capital of the province is Jaffna. The majority of the Sri Lankan Civil War was played out in this province.

Batticaloa Municipal Council (BMC) is the local authority for the city of Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka. BMC is responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads, sanitation, drains, housing, libraries, public parks and recreational facilities. It has 19 members elected using the open list proportional representation system. The territory of BMC is commensurate with that of Manmunai North Divisional Secretariat.

Annamalai Varadaraja Perumal is a politician from Sri Lanka. He was the 1st and only Chief minister of the North Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. He is the founder of Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front.

K. Pathmanabha

Kandasamy Pathmanabha was a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel and founder/leader of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), a separatist Tamil militant organisation in Sri Lanka.

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Sri Lanka.

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