34,000 Muslim refugees in North and East neglected: Muslim groups
July 17, 2012
The welfare of Muslim refugees in the North and East had been ignored by both the government and the international community, several Muslim groups complained yesterday.

According to these groups that consist of members of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) university academics and politicians, around 34,000 Muslim families were thought to be refugees out of whom around 22,000 had registered themselves to be resettled in their original lands in the North. In October 1990, around 15,000 Muslim families were forcibly removed from their homes by the LTTE.

However, ACJU Mannar representative M. Junaid claimed that these families were unable to resettle in their original places of habitation as most of these areas were already occupied by Tamil families who had been resettled there by the government. “Some 40,000 deeds have been given to Tamil refugee families within the past three years. However, not a single plot of land has been provided to any of the Muslim refugee families in the North. Why is the Muslim community in the North receiving step motherly treatment?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, Colombo University Senior lecturer, Dr. M. S. Anees, who also spoke on the occasion yesterday, said that it was indeed unfortunate that not just the Sri Lankan government but also the international community including the UNHCR, had made up their mind to categorize the Sri Lankan IDPs situation focusing solely on the Tamil community in the North. “The Muslim families in these areas have been deprived of their rights,” he said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka