Feb 18, 2019 (LBO) – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed authorities in Resettlement Ministry and Divisional Secretariat to make arrangements to speed the resettlement process of displaced Muslim families of Jaffna.
This is the first time in three decades that the Jaffna’s displaced Muslims, since their plight of expulsion in 1990, are hearing good news on their future.
Among the 20,000 Northern Muslim families expelled overnight from their traditional homes in North on 30 October 1990, was the eight-member family of Rishad Bathiudeen.
“Muslim IDPs who were resettled in Jaffna after the war, complain about the space of land available to them. They say the land is not enough for their growing population,” complained the Minister Bathiudeen.
“Therefore some of them have even returned from the resettled locations back to their camps. I call Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s attention to this issue. Some housing of condominium-style would help them greatly.”
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing Prime Minister during a meeting held in the Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Office on 14 February, joined by many regional and Parliamentary MPs from Jaffna.
During the war, exactly on 1990 October 30, Muslims living in some parts of Northern regions were expelled by LTTE to other parts of the country in an ethnic cleansing act.
According to Minister Bathiudeen’s Coordinator of Jaffna Displaced Muslims, VAS Sufyan, around 2,800 such displaced Muslim families from Jaffna later registered with the authorities as “displaced”.
“Some families are living in Puttalam, Colombo, Gampaha and Panadura areas while 700 other families returned to live in Jaffna though not in their own, original lands, but just here and there in Jaffna vicinity,” explained Sufyan.
“The Resettlement Ministry has started work to give half of them, around 365 families, better housing which is a great relief but another 335 families are struggling. Minister’s request will bring relief to help this group.”