All communities treated equally and without bias: Resettlement Authority Chairman
July 19, 2012
The government had not discriminated any community during the resettlement process, Resettlement Authority Chairman B. H. Passaperuma stressed yesterday while dismissing allegations of neglecting Northern Muslim refugees.

Responding to claims made by several concerned Muslim groups about the neglected state of Muslim refugees, Mr. Passaperuma said it is the vast amount of resettlement projects carried out for the Tamil IDP families, that is interpreted as ‘desertion’ of Muslim community in the North.

“This is a natural allegation but it is important for these concerned parties to understand we are working with limited resources and therefore the services provided are carried out systematically on priority basis. The majority of work carried out so far has been for the Tamil IDP families. But it is simply because 99% of them were residing in welfare camps, whereas most of the Muslim refugee families are living with their relatives and not within the camps,” he said however adding that it does not in any way suggest they will be ignored during the resettlement process.

He said even with resources under extreme strain, it was unfair to claim the government and the international community had neglected the Muslim refugees in the North. “Certain projects have been allocated for the welfare of the Muslim refugees including the housing project in Puttalam which is funded by the World Bank. This project is carried out exclusively for the Muslim families.”

Mr. Passaperuma said since resettlement activities of families in the North are almost complete, they will be moving on to assuring the welfare of the refugee families residing in other areas as well.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka