Mannar IDP resettlement in progress - Minister Bathiudeen
IDPs expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in 1990s are yet to be resettled. However, the process in this regard is taking place as per the government pledge, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
He said so to the delegation of diplomats consisting seven ambassadors to Sri Lanka and a first secretary who visited IDP settlements in Mannar when they toured the region on March 30. The delegation visited Muslim IDP settlements in Talaimannar Pier area, the Museli division and the Marichikatti divisions.
The delegation was led by UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka Abdulaziz Bin Abdurrahman Al-Jammaz.
Ambassadors to Sri Lanka from Iraq Kahtan Taha Khalaf, Iran Dr. Mohammad Nabi Hassani, Palestine Anwar al-Agha, Turkey Äskender K. Okyay, Pakistan High Commissioner Maj Gen (R) Qasim Qureshi, Malaysia High Commissioner Azmi Zainuddin and Indonesia First Secretary Albert Abdi also participated.
Minister Bathiudeen, addressing the delegation in his pre-tour briefing said: "According to para 5.137 of LLRC Report, 75,000 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 mainly living in Puttalam and other districts such as Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Colombo etc."
He said according to the Report, around 14,000 Muslim families have returned to Mannar in 2011 and 2,455 to Mullaitivu district.
Due to landlessness, the original land becoming jungles, non-availability of infrastructure facilities and lack of assistance from donors, they could not be resettled in their places of origin. The displaced during the height of war and later were accommodated at Menik Farm and the new IDPs were all resettled, he said.
Courtesy : Daily News