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Eastern Governor responds to Hakeem’s allegations

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Eastern Province Governor Mohan Wijewickrema responding to allegations made by SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem at a press conference recently that 70 displaced Muslim families who had been resettled in Verugal had been chased out, said  a misrepresentation of facts had occurred.

The response stated:

a) As reported no families referred in your News Papers were resettled in the Verugal DS Division by the Divisional Secretary or by any person from the District Administration.

b) None of the Divisional Secretary, District Secretary or the Ministry of Re-Settlement has approved the re-settlement of the said families in Verugal DS Division as yet.

c) The said families who had come to settle without ‘proper approval were living in Selvanagar and Thoppur villages in the Serunuwara and Muthur DS Divisions respectively in the  Trincomalee District. It is not correct to conclude that these families had become helpless without a place to live when they were not permitted to settle in Verugal.

d) The Muslim families referred however claim that they have been residing in the referred area before they were displaced. This matter is being further investigated by the District Administration and by a Parliament Advisory Committee which has been set up for this purpose.

After the liberation of the Eastern Province, approximately over two hundred thousand (200,000) Internally Displaced Persons were resettled in their own lands. There had been few instances of some people trying to illegally encroach in the guise of resettled people. District Secretaries and Division Secretaries with the  assistance of the Police have taken necessary action to evict such persons whenever such instances were found. In a Province which have the three Major Communities living side by side, land has become a very sensitive issue and arbitrary resettlement such as the one which has been referred in Verugal cannot be permitted without satisfying all criteria required for eligibility for resettlement.

When re-settling of displaced  persons in the east, the authorities do not act as per the race or religion only by their status as Internally Displaced Persons.

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August 29, 2009 at 9:03 am

Posted in Muslim news

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