ALTERNATE LAND FOR WILPATTU MUSLIM IDPs
Allocation of land for 73 families begins
The Mannar Div. Sec. has found an alternative block of land for the resettlement of these families
The several months long re-settlement dispute at Marichchukkaddi in the Mannar District where 73 Muslim families were in illegal occupation of a part of the forest reserve bordering the Wilpattu National Park since 1990 has been resolved, Daily Mirror learns.
It has learnt that the Mannar Divisional Secretary had found an alternative block of land for the resettlement of these families whose illegal occupation had also led to a huge protest by the Bodu Bala Sena.
Mannar District Secretary M.Y. Deshapriya told Daily Mirror a block of land belonging to the Department of Forest Conservation in Marichchukkaddi had been identified for the re-settlement of 73 families on the instructions of the Presidential Task Force on Resettlement and Security in the Northern Province Chaired by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
“We started the survey and the allocation of land to each family today and expect to relocate them
The encroachment of the forest reserve took place in 1990 when the LTTE drove away northern Muslims giving them only two hours to leave their homes
in three weeks in temporary shelters with the assistance of the World Food Programme (WFP),” Mr. Deshapriya said.
He said each family would be allocated 80 perches to build a house and to cultivate food crops in addition to housing material such as cement, bricks and roofing sheets.
Mr. Deshapriya said the WFP would provide them with dry rations for six months and added that more than 7,500 war-affected Muslim families had been re-set- tled in several places by now.
The encroachment of the forest reserve took place in 1990 when the LTTE drove away northern Muslims giving them only two hours to leave their homes.
This resulted in displaced families settling down mainly in Puttalam, Mannar, Colombo and in other districts as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
A campaign by the BBS recently focused the spotlight on 73 families settled by Commerce and Industries Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in an area bordering the Wilpattu National Park.
Meanwhile Minister Bathiudeen said in 2009, after the conclusion of the war, 300,000 Tamil IDPs were given priority in the resettlement process on his initiative as the then Minister of Resettlement.