23 September, 2019

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Alien Sinahalese Re-Settlers From Hambantota Given Three Acres In Wilpattu… But Half Acre To Muslims Is An Environmental Disaster!

The 2860 Sinhalese families settled in the Wilpattu area have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims, says the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka.

Muslims in Sri LankaFrom where did the land for these settlers come from?, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has asked.

Writing to the JVP leader, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says;”Large extents of jungle and reservations had been cleared and handed over for their resettlement, grants and allowances disbursed, and all other facilities including schooling have been provided by the state. Neither land kacheries were held nor deforestation undertaken with proper approvals. It is also alleged that the Army built the houses for these alien re-settlers from Hambantota and elsewhere. Further, over 500 acres of Muslim land has been taken over by the Navy.”

We publish below the statement in full;

Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake Leader,
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Pannipitiya Road, Pelawatte.

Dear Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake

RECENT HYPE ABOUT THE RETURNING MUSLIM IDPs IN MANNAR DISTRICT

We wish to bring to your kind attention that racist elements with the support of some environmentalist and media have embarked on a campaign to harass and intimidate the Muslim IDPs who are being resettled 5 years after the end of the war. It is regrettable that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a party that had gained the respect and admiration of the Muslim community for its non-racial stand has been dragged and misled in to the controversy created by extremist Buddhist forces.

While we appreciate your attempt to resolve this issue as stated in your conversation with our vice president Mr. Hilmy Ahamed, without allowing racist elements to mislead, some of the recent remarks made by your members seem to be contradictory. Mr Lal Kantha who visited the resettlement zone spoke to the press and strongly emphasized that there has been no infringement by the Muslims on the land reservations as accused by the extremists. As you are aware, the Government administrative officers strongly emphasized that there was no illegal or unauthorized Muslim settlements and that due process has been followed in allocating the land for their resettlement. Later in Colombo, at a press conference convened by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, doubts have been cast on the statement of the Divisional Secretary and other government officials. Let me try to explain the background to these IDPs.

The Muslim IDPs who were expelled with less than 2 hours notice from the North by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1990. As you are aware, this ethnic cleansing exercise by the LTTE is considered to be the worst that had taken place in the Sri Lankan history. An estimated 70,000 Muslims comprising of the entire Muslim community in the North had to leave abandoning their properties and livelihood and without any of their material possessions. Their losses could be estimated to run in to billions of rupees. They lived in refugee camps for over 22 years in Puttlam and other urban centers. They continued to face obstacles in their bid to return to their ancestral abode since the end of the war in 2009 and have now come under attack once again from Buddhist extremists and some environmentalists..

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) and other state mechanisms that were set up at the end of the war to facilitate the return of the IDPs and commence their resettlement and rehabilitation processes failed to support and accommodate the Muslim IDPs who wished to return. Priority was given to the Tamils who were displaced during the final days of the Eelam war.

The Muslims of the North were expelled because they refused to support the LTTE’s quest for Eelam. They stood for and sacrificed their lives for Sri Lanka to remain a unitary state. The price they had to pay for their patriotism was over 25 years of life as refugees and is even now treated as a “forgotten people”. These unfortunate refugees deserve better. All these resettling Muslims have either title deeds or permits for their properties, which could be perused if required. These returning families have been allocated only 1⁄2 an acre of land and no other infra structure development has taken place in their resettlement areas. In the absence of support from the government, Muslim civil society, its business community and political leaders have come forward to assist.

While these extremist are protesting against the Muslim IDPs returning to their own lands, it has been alleged that there has been organized colonization along the Wilpattu Reserve on the Welioya road by Sinhalese from Hambantota and families of armed forces personnel. The following are the available statistics for the Sinhala settlements;

1 Veratenna – 520 families

2. Bogaswewa 1- 500 families

3. Bogaswewa 2 -560 families

4. Namalgama – 470 families

5. Senaleenigama – 450 families

6. Nandamitragama -360 families 

None of these settlers are from the area. These 2860 families settled in the Wilpattu area have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims. From where did the land for these settlers come from? Large extents of jungle and reservations had been cleared and handed over for their resettlement, grants and allowances disbursed, and all other facilities including schooling have been provided by the state. Neither land kacheries were held nor deforestation undertaken with proper approvals. It is also alleged that the Army built the houses for these alien re-settlers from Hambantota and elsewhere. Further, over 500 acres of Muslim land has been taken over by the Navy.

As you have stated clearly that the JVP will not look at the resettlements through racial eyes, we kindly request you to study the Sinhala colonization as well and evaluate the faculties and incentives provided to them in comparison to the returning Muslim IDPs and ensure that all citizens in this country are treated as equals. If there is no wrongdoing by Muslims, please defend them in and out of parliament. We agree that the environment needs to be protected and our community will fully support its conservation.

We would be pleased to provide you with necessary documentation and evidence that no illegal settlements have taken place if required.

Thanking you for your kind consideration and support

Yours sincerely

N M Ameen

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Latest comments

  • 22
    9

    Colombo Telegraph,

    Your Tag line says: “In Journalism Truth is a Process”.

    Thank you for exposing these Double standards and the associated lies.

    This Clearly Applies to the Wilpattu Controversy.

    This EXPOSES THE DOUBLE STANDARDS< YES

    Many Idiots including JVP got sucked into this bait laid by BBS, Supported by Norway, LTTE, Israel and Certain Elements in the West.

    1. “The 2860 Sinhalese families settled in the Wilpattu area have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims, says the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka.”

    “From where did the land for these settlers come from?, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has asked.:

    Yes, ask the questions from those who made a big fuss. Why are they not helping the Muslims to get back to their home Villages? Who is behind this? BBS funded Norway, LTTE, Israel and the West?

    2. “Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake Leader,
    Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Pannipitiya Road, Pelawatte.
    Dear Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake
    RECENT HYPE ABOUT THE RETURNING MUSLIM IDPs IN MANNAR DISTRICT”

    Yes, ask. If they made the noise, they should answer. Keep asking until they answer.

    3. Why DOUBLE STANDARDS? Because they are MUSLIMS? Also ask why is that there is All this delay in settling the Expelled Muslims 6 years after the war Ended in the original home villages, and why is that they had to bring families froim Jsambabtota into Wilpattu? Because Yala was cleared for the Mattala Airport?

    Forgotten People – The Evicted and Displaced North Muslims of Sri Lanka (English)

    Published on Jun 1, 2013
    The Evicted and Displaced North Muslims of Sri Lanka. The expulsion of the Muslims and other nations from the Northern province was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Tamil militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization in October 1990. In order to achieve their goal of creating a mono ethnic Tamil state in the North Sri Lanka, the LTTE forcibly expelled the 72,000 strong Muslim population from the Northern Province.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JV60McNQ9o

    These Paras, Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils, are turning the Land of Native Veddah Aethho int the Land of DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_standard

    A double standard is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations.[1] A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain concepts (often, for example, a word, phrase, social norm, or rule) are perceived as acceptable to be applied by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable—taboo—when applied by another group.

    The concept of a double standard has long been applied (as early as 1872) to the fact that different moral structures are often applied to men and women in society.[2][3]

    A double standard can therefore be described as a biased or morally unfair application of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. Such double standards are seen as unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law. Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or other distinctions. A double standard violates this principle by holding different people accountable according to different standards.

    • 23
      5

      This the logical progression of “appey aanduwa” in 67 years – Sinhala colonization of the whole island and change the demography for ever.

      Thereafter the Sinhalese-dominated regimes can let loose pogroms against Tamils and Muslims if they talk about any rights and subjugate them for ever.

      They won’t hesitate to commit genocide as they did to Tamils in 67 years – which is continuing in covert forms even today as Wilpatu event shows.

      Remember what Mahinda said after the war ended that there are no minorities in Sri Lanka: This is exactly what he meant.

      Now it is clear to the whole world what independence in 1948 has come to mean to Tamils, Muslims and sooner or later to Christians too.

    • 16
      9

      This article says the worst ethnic cleansing in the Srilankan history is the expulsion of Muslims from Northern province by LTTE. This is not true. The worst ethnic cleansing in the Srilankan history is the deportation one million Indian Tamils to India by the government under Srima-Shasthri agreement.

      It also says that the LTTE committed this act because Muslims refused to support LTTE in their struggle for Ealam. This is also not true. LTTE expelled them because despite enjoying the hospitality of Tamils, these Muslims had acted as informants to the government resulting in arrests of their cadres.

      It is also silent about the ethnic cleansing of Tamils from Weli-Oya and Vavuniya areas by the government as well as murder and ethnic cleansing done by Muslims of over 10,000 Tamils in the eastern province. In fact displacement of Tamils after every state sponsored riots also amounts to ethnic cleansing.

      • 5
        4

        RAJA

        You are raising an important point about Ethnic Cleansing., and rankings in Lanka.

        1. Up Country Tamils- Courtesy Sri Lanka State -India State. Given Years to decide. Allowed to sell property, No properties were stolen. No Killings. Part allowed to saty.

        2. Northern Tamil Speaking Muslims- Courtesy LTTE, Given 2 days to 2 hours. Property Stolen. Killings. Everybody chased out.

        3. ????

        • 7
          0

          Answer to 2 – In 1984 government gave 48 hours notice to Tamils living in and around Manal Aru, to vacate the area with their movable belongings leaving behind their houses, fields and immovable properties. After this ethnic cleansing was completed, government settled Sinhalese in that area renaming it as Weli Oya. Probably LTTE had taken a leaf out of this practice and enforced it on the Muslims.

      • 4
        5

        ///LTTE expelled them because despite enjoying the hospitality of Tamils, these Muslims had acted as informants to the government resulting in arrests of their cadres.////
        These brave Muslim people fulfilled their duty as citizens of Sri Lanka and they were not “enjoying” hospitality of “Tamils” , being citizens of a sovereign nation they are not obligated to Tamils or Sinhalese .

        It’s good, people with the mindset of this imbecile RAJA lie defeated and powerless

        • 5
          0

          Alien Sinhalese? Is there such a community in Sri Lanka?

    • 9
      5

      Colombo Telegraph,

      “The 2860 Sinhalese families settled in the Wilpattu area have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims, says the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka.”

      So What Happened between 2010 and 2015. Only a fraction were Northern Muslim IDPs,
      Others were aliens to the area from the South..

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEjP1igWIAACyrz.jpg

      The Real Problem is”

      Alien Sinahalese Re-Settlers From Hambantota Given Three Acres In Wilpattu… But Half Acre To Muslims Is An Environmental Disaster!

  • 38
    8

    It is now very clear that the so called ‘Wilpattu’ issue is nothing but a creation and cover up for a greater scheme to colonise the NE with people from the South. Shame on these so called pseudo ‘Environmentalist’ who have made Environment an facade for their demented racist ideology.

  • 35
    4

    Stop all settlements.

    Let Wilpattu be a sanctuary.

    • 15
      4

      Agree.

      Sinhaelse, Tamils & Muslims have joined hands to destroy Sri Lanka. An incredible natutral wonder of the world. In the name of primitve racist thinking and religious extremism.

      Beautiful Sri Lanka is entrusted to stupid people from many ethnic groups that inhabit it. European colonizers were hardly any better.

      There should never be Sinhala, Muslim or Tamil land in this country. Only Sri Lankan land.

      Resettling people should be based on carefully devised government policy and planing. Taking environmental aspects into full consideration. It should not have anything to do with Rishard or Gandasara.

      It is not about resettling Muslims. It is about resettling Sri Lankans who were utterly wronged. Who cares whether they happen to be Muslims or not.

      Cheers!

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

  • 22
    17

    We saw satellite images of the Wilpathu forest before and after. The destruction to forest cover was quite astonishing. That is what galvanized people into action.

    • 26
      4

      The satellite image you see is the 8000 acres cleared during the last government to grow Cashew. You can guess who the owners of that plantation would be. Rishard badurdeen is made a scape gaot. The Navy is doing big lumbering and check who profits from this????

      • 9
        6

        Cashew or people doesnt matter its the destruction we should look at.
        In my view the problem is not “Muslims settling in Wilpattu, its People settling in the Wilpattu and other related forrest reserves”. We all know how disciplined Sri Lankan are, next would be to further land grab and poaching of wild animals. There is a way to settle people abiding the rules of the country has these people being settled taking all necessary clearances? No.

        To be honest, most people and including very educated and unbaise Muslims friends are against the conduct of Rishard Bathudeen. Especially over the past 2 years he has been conducting in a very very racial and in a thuggery manner. This not only includes having accusations for making people throw stones at a court, accusations of getting some so called Buddhist monk to make remarks to tarnish Buddhism.

        Lets see whats wrong as wrong, not back any one simply that person belongs to one’s race, religion or cast.

        • 10
          0

          Yohan, please read carefully, there are no Muslims settled in wilpattu. It is only PEOPLE from Hambantota that has been settled in Wilpattu. The Racist Patali Champika has said this himself that no Muslims have been settled in Wilpattu

      • 1
        0

        Fazeel

        Can you please provide a link to the Satellite photo or a google maps location.

  • 24
    12

    Wilpattu matter is another face of racism. The utter bloody sinhalese are searching problems for their agenda of cleansing. Maithree and Ranil are also behind the scene. The badu balu sena is fed by current gov too. If you racists look deforestation in wilpattu why the hell you your army clean forests in Mullaitivu and Mannar? Because those are Tamils’ land?

    • 7
      7

      That’s right. As always you are correct :)

  • 18
    2

    Thanks for publishing the MCSL letter. It gives a different perspective to this issue.

    But CT has used the word “alien”. This is a very provocative word in this charged context. Most of the comments would be based on this word. This sort of a headline tend to shift the focus from what it should be. MCSL is saying in plain language that the Sinhala settlers are not displaced due to the war unlike the forcibly evicted Muslims. These forgotten people have the right to return. The letter is also about the different treatment meted out to the Muslims and the others. CT should not have dropped the word “alien.”
    Like the newspapers who love sensational headlines CT is also looking for it. Very disappointing

    • 7
      2

      “Alien” is used by the muslim council, it is not a CT word. Read the letter.

      • 10
        6

        Siripala Nimal

        “”“Alien” is used by the muslim council, it is not a CT word. Read the letter””

        The Use of the Word, alien, is correct, because they are outsiders to the area. The Use of the word Para-deshis or Paras would not have been correct because everybody there is a Pradeshi or Para, Sinhala, Tamils and Muslims.

        The United States of America Officially Describes non-US Citizens as aliens, until they become US Citizens.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alien

        alien
        [eyl-yuh n, ey-lee-uh n]

        noun
        1.
        a resident born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalization (distinguished from citizen ).
        2.
        a foreigner.
        3.
        a person who has been estranged or excluded.
        4.
        a creature from outer space; extraterrestrial.

        adjective
        5.
        residing under a government or in a country other than that of one’s birth without having or obtaining the status of citizenship there.
        6.
        belonging or relating to aliens:
        alien property.
        7.
        unlike one’s own; strange; not belonging to one:
        alien speech.
        8.
        adverse; hostile; opposed (usually followed by to or from):
        ideas alien to modern thinking.
        9.
        extraterrestrial.

      • 4
        5

        In that case the heading should have been

        ‘Alien’ Sinhalese Re-Settlers From Hambantota Given….

        • 6
          3

          Taraki

          “‘Alien’ Sinhalese Re-Settlers From Hambantota Given….”

          Para- Sinhalese Alien Re-Settlers From Hambantota Given…. would have been correct.

          • 2
            7

            How do you think the East became Tamil populated? These are the S Indians brought in by the Europeans. IF anyone is an alien it is them. The Sinhalese were driven out of the East. Look at a map of the Kandyan kingdom. See for yourself.

            • 2
              7

              If the Tamils have the right to settle in any area of Sri Lanka then the Sinhalese are not aliens anywhere on our Island. They have as much right as anybody to settle wherever they want and even in the so called Tamil Homeland.

            • 6
              1

              Vijaya, who is probably the stud who created the Sinhala race was also an Alien

      • 7
        0

        may be so, but doesnt CT filter out slang and un parliamentary language? they do…… thast when we read ( edited out) in comments…so why not edit out something that could be rousing rubble?

        More over the Muslims who were ethnically cleansed did not have representation. Rishard Bathu may not be the best person, but he probably knows and understand the plight of Refugees, irrespective of caste race or religion COZ he himself was a refugee.

        Why were Sinhalese resettled in Wilpathu? were they victims of terrorism who had to flee within hours? NO they were given land deeds, money and infrastructure.. this is a well planned out scheme master minded by the Jarapaksa’s and assisted by the BBS who are handled by GOTA, Norway N Israel…

        SL seem to be heading down a slippery slope that could be detrimental to the country as a whole… change of events may be worse than the 3 decade old war that we had..

        This also may breed the likes of ISIS or even LTTE.. When people are suppressed does a spring happen…we may say ..oh our army destroyed them, but at what price and after how long ? do we need another episode of terror and war? Heck NO…

        one was more than enough…

  • 10
    5

    All this time i do not know the reason why LTTE expelled Muslims from North. So lot of innocent Tamils were killed because they were identified to army as LTTE supporter to maintain undivided srilanka – hats off to Muslims. Patriotism (pullarikuthu)

  • 8
    2

    Thanks for publishing this article.
    But CT has used the word alien in describing the Sinhalese. Most of the adverse comments to this article would be based on that word. In this ethnically tensed atmosphere, this word is not the right word to use. It is sensationalising this issue.

    What the article tries to prove is that Muslims were ethnically cleansed by the LTTE and they were living in this area before their eviction. They were living as refugees for a period for almost 22 years. Forcible eviction is different to displacement. They are returning to their original place. Whereas the Sinhalese were not displaced and they were not questioned regarding jungle clearance etc.

  • 13
    0

    Proper investigation into whole episode must be carried out and actual facts are briught to tge notice of the public to avoid unwanted misunderstanding between communities.

  • 6
    19

    You should be in Palestine fighting the Israeli settlements there or join the jihadis of ISIL and make yourself useful before you are awarded with 72 virgins!

    • 11
      2

      Peter Cashie Chettiar, The virgins probably would come from your family. Confirm and I will go even to hell leave alone Palaestine and ISIL

      • 11
        0

        nailed it on the head ! racists like him should be put in place.
        they say its better to shut ones mouth than open it and prove stupidity.. casiCHETTY didnt know that for a fact…

        Looking up and spitting seems to be his favorite past time

  • 6
    9

    This is even below the usual substandard journalism of CT..it reeks of propaganda and manufactured realities fabricated with help of or a group pandering to a western country, and there is only one country in the west which uses the word “alien” to describe a sector of human beings…

    • 4
      3

      “Alien” is used by the muslim council, it is not a CT word. Read the letter.

  • 12
    1

    President has appointed a commission, he must look at all the forest that has been destroyed. All the settlements mentioned in this article must be taken together. He will also play into the hands of racists, if he only gets a report of this Muslim settlement he will be playing into the hands of the racists. If what Muslim council says is correct, President must look into the following lands. What about the destruction by the navy and there is also a storey that bungalows had been built. Racism flew through the window on the 8th of Jan, so please do not bring it back.

    1 Veratenna – 520 families

    2. Bogaswewa 1- 500 families

    3. Bogaswewa 2 -560 families

    4. Namalgama – 470 families

    5. Senaleenigama – 450 families

    6. Nandamitragama -360 families

  • 10
    7

    Has Bisop Raiaapu joined BBS?.

    Even our inhabitants who are on the “crack pipe” wouldn’t believe that the Bishop would have kept mum if Hambantotians were brought to settle in any where near Mannar, let alone giving them 3 Acres each.

    Its the Bishop and his mates who raised the issue of Batthudeen importing Pakistanis and settling them in Wilpattu..

    JVP losers as usual went to fish in troubled waters and pretend that they smell like Roses.

    And try to show how good they are against the current bumbling bunch of the CBK, Diaspora and West appointed agents.

    Hilmy Ahmed is a big time sucker of the current Yahapalana mob and often writes against the majority to portray latter as bad Nationalists and Extremists.

    Why can’t Hilmy front up to the Bishop and work out a deal where his mate Baththudeen’s re-settlers can get 5 Acres if Hambnatotians are give 3 Acres.

    Bishop I don’t think will have any hesitation to grant his wishes, or at least stop the Hamtbanotians getting any Acres.

    • 8
      6

      Kiribanda A Sumanasekera

      “Even our inhabitants who are on the “crack pipe” wouldn’t believe that the Bishop would have kept mum if Hambantotians were brought to settle in any where near Mannar, let alone giving them 3 Acres each. “

      ” Its the Bishop and his mates who raised the issue of Batthudeen importing Pakistanis and settling them in Wilpattu..”

      Look under the skin. Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP, says

      The Various Norwegian Agencies That Supported BBS Personnel

      Bow BBS, LTTE, Bishop Rajuppu, Norway, Israel, The West are All in it together, and try to Use then Muslims as scae Goats and are Now in a Fix. just like BBS and Mahinda Rajapaksa are. Even the Fools at JVP got sucked into this..

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-various-norwegian-agencies-that-supported-bbs-personnel/

      By Rajiva Wijesinha –

      Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP
      When I wrote some weeks back about the supposed Norwegian involvement with the Bodhu Bala Sena, I had not seen the clarification which the Norwegian Embassy had put on its website about the allegations. Having read it, I am more than ever convinced that the Norwegian government and its embassy have not behaved badly, but also that they, and also the Sri Lankan government, must go more carefully into the matter and check on what exactly has been going on. If they can do this together, so much the better, though I fear that neither side will have the correct skills and attitudes to ensure fruitful and productive cooperation.

      The reason I believe investigation would be useful is because of two names I noticed in the official Norwegian statement. One is that of the Worldview International Foundation, which is essentially run by a gentleman called Arne Fjiatoff, who has been in Sri Lanka now for several decades. During this period he has been involved in a range of projects with various Sri Lankan governments, which are in theory designed to benefit the Sri Lankan people, but which have also brought considerable benefits to Arne himself.

      I was introduced to him initially by Dilanthe Withanage, the other name I noticed in the statement. Dilanthe has now emerged as the lay spokesman for the BBS, though I knew him earlier in another very positive incarnation, as running computer programmes for the Ministry of Education when I was Adviser there on English. Though I took on the position mainly to reintroduce the English medium option, given the paucity of capacity there at the time, I ended up involved in many other initiatives, ranging from curriculum revision to primary English materials.

      I had been appointed by Tara de Mel, who I still think was one of the best Secretaries of Education Sri Lanka has had. Her involvement with Arne however surprised me, for she did not seem to have realized that the project he had suggested through Dilanthe, and which I was asked to comment on, was expensive and not likely to prove productive. As always with such unsolicited projects, it included the purchase of a great deal of software, for which it seemed a loan would be available, though the terms did not seem especially favourable. And my suspicions were roused further when Arne referred to the benefits there might be for me, including travel to Norway and consultancy payments.

      I realized then how he had been operating over the previous decades, given how easy it is to win the support of government officials through what is not strictly bribery, but rather the provision of what seem enormous benefits, given the joys and profits of foreign travel. Incidentally, it seems that that is what the Norwegian government did try to do with the monks it had taken to Norway, though the benefits conferred do not seem to have produced any positive results in that instance.

      I was negative about the project and tried to keep my distance, though after Tara ceased to be Secretary she had me over to see Arne again about what seemed another far fetched scheme which also seems to have been forgotten. I should note that it is a pity government has not since 2005 tried to make use of Tara’s services since, though she was understandably loyal to President Kumaratunga who had entrusted her with major responsibilities, her abilities were unquestionable, and she would bring similar professionalism to bear in any other position. Given current problems with education, we cannot afford to ignore people of talent and ability.

      Dilanthe I felt was the same, so I was glad to see him back in harness at the Presidential Secretariat in relation to I think the Trilingual Initiative. I also saw that he was associated with a website called Sithamu, for which I was asked to write, and which seemed to me to provide space for a range of interesting and constructive articles.

      That had initially been a project of the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, and I believe it had received Norwegian funding through either the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF) or the Nordic International Foundation (NIS Foundation), both of which are mentioned in the Norwegian Embassy statement. What exactly was achieved through their support is not clear, except for the visit to Norway by Dilanthe and the monks, in connection with a Reconciliation Conference which does not seem to have had any productive outcome. The NIS Foundation is said to have then supported a reconciliation project, but what this was is not explained.

      Earlier this year Sithamu suddenly stopped functioning, which seems a great pity. I was told that funding had run out, but I cannot understand why the Ministry and the Norwegians who funded it were not able to continue to provide support, since very little would have been required for a functioning website, with no payments required for contributors.

      I believe it is important, given the worries caused recently by what seem BBS initiatives, for the Ministry and the Norwegian Embassy to look carefully into what has happened, and make details public. I should note that one of the ways in which Arne sold himself, I believe throughout his stay in Sri Lanka, but certainly at the time I met him, was by claiming that he had good connections with the Norwegian government and in particular Eric Solheim. I do not think it is only my own worries about Solheim and the generally destructive effect he has had on Sri Lanka that makes me think the Norwegian Embassy would do well to find out exactly what Arne’s role has been in promoting contacts between BBS personnel and Norway, and also in providing funding for any projects. Why the project stopped, and what happened to any remaining funds should also be looked into and disclosed.

    • 9
      0

      There were a lot of things happening during the reign of MR’s government and no one raised a ruckus since the media was bought over with free computer laptops, and anyone who raised issue beyond, knew they would get lost in a white van hijack. It was in such hostile reign, no one dared raise a voice when people from Hambantota were settled in Mannar, and as incentive those victims were given 3 acres on take it or leave it basis.

      Now, with the change of government for better governance, it is the Media that is taking the lead to expose this racket in a very hostile way, (listening to those interviews initiated by reporters sound intimidating and quite threatening to say the least), and is done purely with ulterior motive of causing racial tension by not reporting the truth, but distorted versions with no mention of Hambantota (alien) settlements, but only on Muslim refugee resettlements who in fact, were the real people who bore the brunt of the war displaced refugees living in camps, just to maintain the unitary status of this island nation.

      Now when everyone is getting a share of the land to live as equals, it seems like the siht has hit the fan, and Rishad Bathiudeen made a scapegoat. The fact is that he is only providing the leadership for those Muslim refugees to carry out what Governments have promised to do to settle the camps in its process of limping back to normalcy. He is ideally suited for the job since he is also one to suffer that pain as he too was from one of them as a displaced refugee, who gradually rose to the top.

      Th

  • 7
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    The word Alien as far as I read it in the letter means ” people who do not belong here, to give a clearer definition to the people who have uprooted from Hambantota and settled in the wilpattu area”. They are definitely alien to the area if they have been brought from Hambantota and settled in the Mananr district

  • 5
    1

    Use of the word ‘alien’ is not a problem. Not just USA but other countries use it too. Japan uses it too with regard to immigration matters. Even Americans in Japan hate to be addressed that way.

    What worries me is the loose manner in which the word ethnic cleansing is used? Nice try Rishad bathiudeen by piggy-back riding on the tamil issue.

  • 4
    0

    Using the racial card in a situation that needs a solution to a desperate set of people in whatever situation or wherever it has happened is very regrettable. They are citizens of this country, with a right to live a decent life and opportunity to work and earn a living. Politicians , at times use people caught up in such a situation for their own selfish ends, and may even end up cornering large extents of valuable land for themselves. Allocating forest land , which is the lungs and life of this nation is an action to be deplored when there must be other habitable extents available. Also various organisations and individuals have obtained land of various extents, by political patronage or other questionable means ,now that hostilities have ended, as now land ownership has become a status symbol and display of wealth. This kind of pseudo status and acquiring of such wealth should be discouraged or ended.

  • 9
    0

    If settlements in wilpattu is wrong take actions with law, not by balu puka sena, seelaratana goma, janatha vimukthi puka or in the name of national fucking security. Just be human and take action against the citizens of sorry lanka. DO NOT mention muslim colonization or any other racial fucking attacks. You fucking sinhalese still want to live in forest with half naked women thats the only mind set you have.

  • 9
    2

    Lands Should NOT be GIVEN to ANY BODY in Willpathhu.

    It is said That 18000 Acres are cleared by Jarapassa Lipstklie RISHAD BADUDEEN,
    WHo changed his toppiya, after Mr Sirisena came to power?.

    This an Act of Cheating, by RISHAD BADUDEEN Using and prostituting the LAW and cheating to Our Muslim IDPs for his own profits.
    he has a Secret agenda of his own and with JARAPASSA.
    When the Civil War Finishing Time He amssed Huge profits from IDP Food supply.
    All those IDPs should be given their own land to settle or Should resettle in alternative new land to go on with their own lives.

    BUT NOT IN WILPATHTHU ARE. That NOT Fertile And WATER IS NOT SUITABLE TO DRINK there.
    The Hambayathota Group Are not IDPS,
    and they should be Send their Own places to settle and Hambayathota are got More lands.

    Why Jarapassa Send them here????????.

    TO start an another Division among MUSLIMS SINHALESE AND TAMILS.??????????.

    WAR IS A BIG BUSSINESS FOR JARAPASSA AND HIS CLAN???????.

    • 4
      0

      Julampitiye,

      I totally agree with you. I see the age old sanctuary as a valuable site.

      Not just Rishad badiudden but many others are using this fragile, volatile situation for their own benefits. Civilians, no matter what religion they follow, are just being used by these selfish politicians to achieve their agenda. I cannot say much as I have not seen the actual situation of the sanctuary or the circumstances of the IDPS.

      Stop all these things until the present regime puts an end to the imminent problems the country is facing, which is not settling the IDPs. Don’t drag that ‘ we Muslims are suffering .. Card here. In fact, was it not them who disrupted the peace efforts on a number of occasions? The first hand information that I have is that the Muslims were also members of the armed groups. Yes or no?
      The Muslims also harbored the government military groups. Yes or no?
      The Muslims provided their mosque/s for storing army’s weapons. Yes or no?

      Then certainly these actions have their repercussions. Is that why they were evicted from some parts of north and east?
      That is not ethnic cleansing but eviction. Well, I don’t expect everyone to understand the definitions of these words from the members of the Muslim council.

      I am not a politician, or some other person involved in this country’s affairs. Just an observer.

  • 7
    0

    I am quoting below Tisaranee Gunasekara which appears in the CT today as it is relevant for this article too. Ethnicity is mentioned if it happened to be a minority. If a drug dealer or rapist is a Muslim his religious identity is mentioned. Similarly in the Wilpattu issue. If the sugar cane cultivators in Yala are Muslims or Tamils, headlines would be different and there will be a major protest. May be BBS will take the lead.

    ” Democracy in this country can flourish only if the various ethnic and religious groups living in it develop a democratic modus vivendi. An important precondition for this is an end to the habit of looking at everything always via an ethnic/religious lens. The Wilppattu controversy is an excellent example. Deforestation is not a Muslim crime (or Tamil or Sinhala crime). It is a human crime. And it is a crime irrespective of the primordial (or political) identity of the perpetrators. Opposing deforestation or defending it on the basis of primordial identity is equally unacceptable. According to a recent news report, 75 acres of Yala Sanctuary have been occupied illegally for sugar cane cultivation. The ethnic/religious identity of the perpetrators is not mentioned in the story. AND RIGHTLY SO BECAUSE IT IS AS IRRELEVANT AS THE ETHNIC / RELIGIOUS IDENTITY OF WILPATTU DEFORESTERS.( CAPITALISING IS MINE). A democratic commonsense will be impossible, if we insist on using the distorting lens of primordial identity to analyse the past, report the present and shape the future.” Tisaranee Gunasekara –

  • 4
    0

    Thanks for publishing this letter and the letter itself. I have no reason to doubt about the main thrust of the letter which allows us to see the other side of the controversy, whatever may be the inaccuracies of some details. There should always be a balance between the environmental concerns and human predicaments, and in this case the tragedy of the Muslim IDPs. Worst still is, if or when the environmental concerns are raised in an ethnically/religiously biased manner. I am saying this for some of the ‘environmentalists.’

    I would have appreciated if the Muslim Council had given us the figures for the settlement of the Muslim community as well. We have seen the satellite images, partial or not, which are disturbing. This controversy should be settled in an amicable manner and hope the appointed committee would deliver justice. Given the long standing predicaments of this particular Muslim community, I would think that there can be ways of strengthening the environmental protection without uprooting this community again and even with their support and involvement. Tree planting and small reserves or parks within the settlements can be some ways. Then the disturbing images of the satellite pictures will change.

  • 3
    7

    it’s a blatant lie that sinhalese are settled in willpaththu. none of the sinhalese are settled in villpaththu or mannar area. thousands of acres of jungle is destroyed to settle muslims from puttalam and hundreds of pakistanis. this is a sinister plot to have a muslim dominated kingdom in that area

  • 5
    0

    In Sri Lanka documents do not mean much. It is a paradise for illegal fraudulent documents of all sorts. You only need money to buy it off the experts that trade in them.

  • 4
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    2

    “The 2860 Sinhalese families settled in the Wilpattu area have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims, says the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka”

    In this issue the reasoning formula requires inclusion of breeding speed rate and apply retrospectively, then the answer is reciprocal.

  • 5
    1

    I would like to reiterate that the Sinhala colonisation started ( I stand to be corrected) in a small scale in the early 60’s during the late Sirimavo’s time. Predominantly Tamil areas in the North and North east were cleared and funds provided for the Sinhalese to settle in. During this time there was no land grab from the Tamils but it was the undeveloped crown property. Following this many Sinhalese infiltrated into yet
    available crown land creating a friction with the Tamils and some Muslims who
    lived in the area for generations. This was one of the reason for the Tamils
    to take up arms and support the then newly formed Tamil liberation movement.
    Only few countries in the world who can claim purity otherwise most countries
    are a world of mix. The originals of Serendib are the Veddahs the rest are from mainly of Indian sub continent. Our habits and culture are a picture perfect south Indian and more than 50 percent are of Malayalam Origin including the similarity in the alphabet and the names. Our last king Sri Wickremerajasinhe was married to the daughter of a Kerala raj. Prince Vijaya
    we all know where we came from.
    Unity is strength, unity is harmony, unity is progress all this is needed to build a nation and hope the Sinhalese or Sinhala Buddhist will remove the blinkers they are now wearing and look beyond not within with hatred which is
    contrary to the teachings of Buddhism.

  • 5
    1

    Oh people stop squabbling and take heed.

    Fact No.1 – Wilpattu is being denuded. This is environmental vandalism.

    Fact No.2 – A large number of Muslims were evicted at short notice by the LTTE. Whether they were evicted because they spied for the Army or because they refused to work for LTTE is irrelevant. It is history. They need to be resettled. But why Wilpattu.

    Fact No.3 – The Sinhalese from the South being settled to unsettle the Muslims is due to the malevolent machinations of the saffron robed rabble rousing racist thug – Gnanasara. This is Sinhala people gone mad – clearing virgin forest to advance racism.

    Fact No.4 – Sri Lankans are incapable of rising above race and religion and as a result are doomed. Many more 30 year wars will follow – no doubt.

  • 4
    3

    Interesting title to this article – “ALIEN SINHALESE……”
    WAS THAT MEANT TO BE PROVOCATIVE?? DID MUSLIMS ARRIVE THERE BEFORE THE SINHALA?? WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? OR IS THIS YAHAPALANA HISTORY?

  • 1
    1

    Are Sinhalese Aliens to Wilpaththu ? Shouldn’t governments have to resettle people in some other area when their ancestral land was taken for development needs whether it is Mahawali project or Hambanthota project? Is it correct to categorize people who lost land for government projects as aliens ? How do you compare the size of the land given as compensation for the people who lost their ancestral land for government projects to the size of land offered for IDPs? Compare apples to apples .

  • 1
    1

    what I like to know is how a Sinhalese can be called an Alien in a Sinhalese country and there be a reference made of ‘Muslim Land’ Then should the Muslims be aliens in other parts of the country? If a Muslim can live any where in this country why cannot a Sinhalese do the same?

  • 0
    1

    as usual colombo telegraph harraese the sinhalese .. which is there agennda.. bathrudeen is not clearing half arca.. he has cleared about 50 arces in kallaru..so please do not be a mouth piece for muslim extramist

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