Several Muslims expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in a systematic and organized manner during a two week period in 1990 are yet to be resettled, the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
He said this when a delegation consisting of seven Ambassadors to Sri Lanka and a First Secretary witnessed the plight of Muslim IDP settlements in the Mannar region, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement today.
The delegation, led by the UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka Abdulaziz Bin Abdurrahman Al-Jammaz, consisted of the envoys to Sri Lanka from Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The delegation visited Muslim IDP resettlements in the Talaimannar Pier area, the Museli division, and the Marichikatti divisions.
“They witnessed the plight of these helpless IDPs first-hand and lent a sympathetic ear to their issues,” the Ministry said.
Minister Bathiudeen told the delegation that according to para 5.137 of the LLRC Report, 75000 families were expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in a systematic and organized manner during a two week period in 1990.
They were temporarily sheltered in Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, and Colombo. According to the Report, around 14,000 Muslim families had returned to Mannar in 2011 and 2,455 to Mullaithivu.
However he noted that due to landlessness, the original land becoming jungles, non-availability of infrastructure facilities and lack of assistance from the donor communities they couldn’t resettle themselves fully in their places of origin.
The displaced during the height of war and later were accommodated at Menik Farm while the new IDPs from the war were all resettled.
“However, the protracted IDPs expelled in 1990s are yet to be resettled. The process in this regard is taking place as per the government promise,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)