Northern Muslim IDps’ Situation and Case completely different from Tamil IDPs
By M. Shamil Mohamed
‘Northern Muslims were robed by LTTE, The robbery is the biggest one in sri lanka’s history, North and East Muslims were Ethnically Cleansed and lost thousands of lives, Northern Muslim People who had to undergo living in camps for 20 years, This is one of longest refuge life in Sri lanka. the government’s responsibility to trace and find LTTE assets and repay to northern Muslim IDPs too same as government doing for golden credit card investors’
President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised the Muslim IDPs from the North at the All Ceylon Muslim Congress Northern Convention on December 31, 2009 at Alankuda, Kalpitiy, puttlam
My Government will not let down the innocent Muslim civilians in the North who lost all their belongings at the hands of the LTTE 20 years ago.” “We will ensure that innocent Muslim civilians who had to leave their original places in the North due to LTTE threats will be resettled in their own properties. Their houses, schools and business establishments will be rebuilt with all necessary infrastructure facilities,” the President said
Resettlement process started for Tamil IDPs successfully going on , about 80000 thousand Tamil IDPs , waiting for the Resettlement there are some big barriers for fast Resettlement, The main big barrier is screening LTTE suspects, So this is the big blockade for Tamil IDPs resettlement , For Muslim IDPs there is no such screening barrier but Muslim resettlement process is in very slow progress , The reason for the very slow progress in Muslims resettlement is the one resettlement policy for two completely different IDP problems , this is the key reason for dawdling Muslim resettlement in the north
The government started an active project to lead a task force in overcoming IDPs problems in common for Tamils and Muslims, The project succeeding in Tamil IDPs but the same project is giving downbeat outcome in Muslims IDP resettlement .I feel handling Muslim IDPs should be differentiated, Muslim’s eviction is completely different from displacement that should be handle as an unique case very from Tamil IDP problem , when Muslims evicted they only allowed to carry 50 rupees each , and take with them only the clothes and slippers they were wearing on. The LTTE looted all the property in the Muslim houses. Many houses were stripped off tiles, wooden frames, doors, windows, they lost every thing they had in the biggest robbery operation which curried out by the LTTE . Then the northern Muslims reduced to refuges and baggers.
The Eviction that was not a displacement or evacuation this was an Ethnic Cleansing which curried out by world biggest terrorist organization the LTTE in 1990, This is ever biggest robbery in Sri Lankan history and one of the biggest robbery in the world history, it most be recorded in the Sri lankan history. The LTTE after successfully finished robbery operation and the Ethnic Cleansing, They sent all Muslim’s properties to Tamil Nadu and sold them for multimillion dollars and invested in LTTE ‘s world wide business network, I can say northern Muslims have multimillion dollars investment in LTTE commercial business network , so there is responsibility for the government to trace and find them all and repay to northern Muslim IDPs the same as government doing for golden credit card investors,
The following report show how much the LTTE robbed from northern Muslim, the robbery values estimated in 1990 so now the properties values should be multiplied
Muslim Residential Houses Occupied or Destroyed by the LTTE after the Ethnic Cleansing and robbery in October 1990 from the Northern Province
Mannar- 6,425 Houses, 1990 estimated value Rs. 995,343,425.00
Jaffna – 1,391 Houses, 1990 estimated value Rs. 497,859,750.00
Vavuniya- 2,106 Houses, 1990 estimated value Rs. 223,533,292.00
Mullaitheevu- 552 Houses, 1990 estimated value Rs. 150,360,850.00
Killinochchi -236 Houses , 1990 estimated value Rs. 52,180,500.00
Northern Province Total 11,110 Houses , 1990 estimated value Rs. 1,919,277,817.00
Muslim’s Lands Forcibly Occupied by the LTTE after Ethnic Cleansing and robbery in October 1990 from the Northern Province
Mannar- 6,600 Lands -Cases
Vavuniya- 1,936 Lands-Cases
Jaffna – 1256 Lands-Cases
Mullaitheevu- 994 Lands-Cases
Killinochchi- 272 Lands-Cases
Northern Province Total Lands- 11,058-Cases
Muslims Properties – jewellery and Electronic item – Robbed- by LTTE During the Ethnic Cleansing of Muslims in October 1990 from the Northern Province.
Mannar- 7,507 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 1,481,722,445.00
Jaffna – 2,430 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 694,607,633.00
Vavuniya- 2369 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 360,288,100.00
Mullaitheevu- 1,060 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 233,888,148.00
Killinochchi – 316 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 68,171,335.00
Northern Province Total 13,682 items, 1990 estimated value Rs. 360,288,100.00
Muslim IDP have been living in IDP camps for more than 20 years, when they evicted by LTTE in 1990 they were about 100 thousand in numbers now they doubled the number , LTTE cashed out one family from North, Now the family developed into three to four families so their case also developed from ordinary IDP to special IDP, This is an unique case in Sri Lankan history, No one can deny this fact , The government should take this in to account and reconsider Northern IDP Case, According to the available reports most of Muslim IDPs feel better to live where they have been living since 1990 after the eviction. As I learned most of Northern IDPs are not ready to start their life once again from zero as they started in 1990 after the LTTE eviction. They demand compensations for their losses.
One of my Jaffna friends said that ‘ we came in one family with my parents and with my two brothers, now we are four families ,me and my brothers got married when we go back to Jaffna we must have four lands and houses and business arrangement ‘ his comment indicates the real situation of the Northern Muslim IDP’s problems , Muslim IDP problem should be treated as special IDP Cause, Trying to mix up Muslim IDP case with Tamil IDP case would lead to Muslim IDP resettlement fail , current Muslim resettlement process slow down caused by the non-existence of Special IDP identity for northern Muslims, The current resettlement process treats Tamil and Muslim IDPs in a same table , Muslim IDPs demand political decision as law that can be used as guidelines in handling Muslim IDPs. Muslim IDPs who they are still living in an uncertain life. People who had to undergo living in camps for 20 years still with uncertainty, and disappointment.
Muslim IDPs demand compensations even if they continue the life where they have been living for 20 years , places like Colombo, Negambo ,puttalam, the IDPs helped by local Muslim communities for the last 20 years then the government.