20 August, 2017

Resettlement Of Muslim IDPs & Issues Of Wilpattu

Dr. Mohamed Shareef Asees

Dr. Mohamed Shareef Asees

By Mohamed Shareef Asees

It has been 27 years since the Muslims were forcibly evicted from the Northern Province by the LTTE and have been living in the Puttalam district in many IDP camps in vulnerable conditions. The end of conflict in May 2009 brought a new hope for the resettlement of Muslim IDPs. However both the Sri Lankan government and international community prioritized the Tamil IDPs for resettlement and sidelined the Muslim IDPs from it. This has led some Muslim IDPs to go back to their places of origin voluntarily. The former Resettlement Minister, Rishard Bathiudeen was able to negotiate with some Islamic organizations and they agreed to provide some houses for this marginalized Muslim IDPs. In 2012, Muslims in Marichukatti in Mannar district began their resettlement process with the support of Qatar foundation. Since then some Buddhist monks and media groups began to accuse their resettlement and claimed it was an illegal act and violation of Wilpattu national forest. From the Muslims point of view, these are the lands where they lived over 100 years even before the conflict start and they hold their deeds (legal documents) to prove the ownership and right to live in their own place.

The prolonged armed conflict which started in 1983 between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE killed around 90,000 people and left over 1 million IDPs from three ethnic groups: Tamils 82%, Muslims 14%, and Sinhalese 4% (UNHCR Report. 2009). In 1990, the LTTE forcibly evicted around 15,000 Muslim families from the Northern Province in five districts: Jaffna 3,475, Mannar 8,200, Vavuniya 1,800, Mulaitheevu 1,000 and Kilinochi 525 (Ibid. 2009). The displaced Muslims moved mainly to the Puttalam district and have been living there as IDPs since then. The IDP camp life is very pathetic and they have been facing various problems in their daily lives. The life in IDP camps have de-moralized men, women, children and elderly people and affected them physically, psychologically, socially, economically and educationally. wilpattu

Photograph was taken by the author, this is an ancient Mosque built in 1938 located in Marichukatti but presently within the reserved forest boundary.

The end of conflict in May 2009, brought a new hopes for the resettlement of Muslim IDPs, but the Sri Lankan government and the international community prioritized the Tamil IDPs and side lined the Muslim IDPs from the resettlement process. This has led some Muslim IDPs voluntarily to go back to their homes. The former Resettlement Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was able to negotiate with some Islamic organizations and they agreed to provide some houses for this marginalized Muslim IDPs. In 2012 Muslims in Marichukatti began their resettlement process with the support of Qatar foundation (Al-JASSIM). Since then some Buddhist monks and media groups began to accuse their resettlement and claimed it was an illegal resettlement and violation of Willpattu forest, though the Muslims hold their deeds to live in their own place. The issue is little complicated and not many understand what exactly happens in Wilpattu.

In fact, the Villages: Marichukatti, Karadikkuli, Palakuli, Kondachi are some border villages of Mannar district and located very closed to Willpatu national forest. Due to the conflict and absence of people all these villages forestified and looked like a forest. In 2012, the former Environmental Minister Anura Priyadarsana Yapa extended the length of Wilpattu and decalred all these neighboring villages as a part of Wilpattu national forest. Since then, Forest department, environmental people and some media personal began to accuse the resettlement as a violation of Willpattu forest. Mean time, the people who hold their deeds (legal documents) argue that it is our own land and we are entitled to live here. In fact, this is a legal issue between the victimized people and the Sri Lankan government.wilpattu

Challenges over the Resettlement

The Resettlement of Northern Muslims IDPs still remains unresolved. Many factors were attributed for the present status. There are four main challenges have hindered their resettlement. First, there was no substantial plan from the Sri Lankan government for their resettlement. Second, a significant part of the land that belonged to Northern Muslims were conquered by the LTTE and given to Tamil people during the conflict. Third, the housing assistance was inefficient. In fact, the Indian government allocated 50,000 houses for the IDPs but it was not clear how many houses were allocated for the Muslim IDPs. Finally, there was a lack of initiatives targeting the Muslim IDPs as beneficiaries of the post-conflict resettlement projects managed by the Sri Lankan government or the international organizations. In fact, the Sri Lankan government and International organizations focused primarily on the resettlement of Tamil IDPs. From the Sri Lankan government‘s point of view, the resettlement of Tamil IDPs were more important than that of the Muslim minority as it can reduce the tension between the Sinhala and Tamil ethnic groups which were central to the war. Parallel to this, international organizations and donors have pressured the Sri Lankan government to resettle the Tamil IDPs. Apart from this, there is no media coverage or any pressures from the civil society or any media groups.

Resettlement in Marichukati

Marichukati is one of the ancient villages which is located in the Musali divison of Mannar district. In 1989, there were around 200 Muslim families lived in this village. In 1990, they were forcibly evicted by the LTTE and moved to Puttalam and lived there in the past two decades. In 2012, some Muslim IDPs, 73 families return to their original place and began to build houses and engaged agricultural activities with the support of Qatar foundation. Resettlement of Muslim IDPs in Marichukati village viewed by the media (Hiru TV) as an illegal settlement and violation of Wilpattu national forest. However, the former Resettlement Minister, Rishard Bathiudeen continuously saying that there is no illegal settlement or any single violation of Wilpattu national forest. Even he openly stated that if anyone can proof it as an illegal settlement or violation of Wilpattu he is ready to step down from his Ministrial post that he holds in the present government. However there is no such attempt made either from media or any respective organizations up to now. But criticism is going on without any base.

Ground views

The author of this article visited two times to this place and witnessed what is happening there. It seems that the Muslim IDPs who went back to their previous home in Marichukatti faces lot of issues regarding the resettlement and livelihood. Resettlement is very challenging even within their own land which was belonged to their forefathers over 100 years. There are some remaining (old mosque, school and broken houses, etc) which shows that earlier there was a Muslim settlement. Moreover, almost all residents in Marichukatti village hold their legal deeds which show they are legally entitled to live in their home. In fact, the accusation from media and disturbance from wild life authority is a violation of fundamental rights of this Marichukatti people. One Muslim IDP pointed out that when he went back to his home in Marichukatti after 25 years, it was fully occupied by the Navy and they are not giving his home back to live there. Further he pointed out the Navy forces has built a small Buddhist temple for their religious purposes inside his land, but in the future they may claim that there were some Sinhala settlements in the past based on this recently built temple. Likewise, there are many other issues have to be discussed and short it out in order to continue the peaceful resettlements.

Conclusion

The overall conclusion of this article is that the resettlement of Muslim IDPs in Marichukatti was manipulated and misguided by the media and some Buddhist monks. The Sri Lankan government which is responsible to protect its own people also overlooked and sidelined the Muslim IDPs on this issue. The tension and rhetoric is growing between the wild life authority and former Resettlement Minister Rishard Bathiudeen (on behalf of villagers in Marichukatti). Moreover, there is a party politics also on this issue, up to now there is no statement or any action taken by any Muslim political parties except All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and its leader Hon. Minister Rishard Bathiudeen.

*Dr. Mohamed Shareef Asees – Lecturer -Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    18

    “a significant part of the land that belonged to Northern Muslims were …”conquered”… by the LTTE and given to Tamil people during the conflict. “

    interesting choice of word “conquered”

    were they conquered or “forcibly evicted” as stated in the opening para.

    …and given to Tamil people?

    For god’s sake do you guys want to keep simmering racial tension in this country?

    • 3
      1

      Mohamed Shareef Asees

      “It has been 27 years since the Muslims were forcibly evicted from the Northern Province by the LTTE and have been living in the Puttalam district in many IDP camps in vulnerable conditions. The end of conflict in May 2009 brought a new hope for the resettlement of Muslim IDPs. However both the Sri Lankan government and international community prioritized the Tamil IDPs for resettlement and sidelined the Muslim IDPs from it. “

      Yes. These are recent Facts. These are called Double Standards or marginalization.

      However, many people do not know all the facts, but do know other facts, especially foreigners, as given below.

      10 Amazing Facts About Sri Lanka

      Published on Dec 15, 2016
      Sri Lanka A country and island that’s just at the southern tip of India. It may look small on the map, but its one mighty country. Here are some facts you should know.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z_axA8fuww

    • 6
      2

      What is wrong is wrong, whether it were crimes committed by successive Sinhala dominated SL govs on the Tamil people or crimes committed by the LTTE. It was a mass-scale ethnic-cleansing by the LTTE that went unnoticed to the world. While there was worldwide attention on the ethnic-cleansing in the former Yugoslavia nobody seem to care about what happened in SL. For the sake of the argument, lets say it was OK to kill and ethnically-cleanse Sinhalese since they were the antagonists since 1956 but what about the Muslims of Sri Lanka? (Ethnically speaking, Moor, Malay and so on) What crime did they commit?

      The other questions is, when it comes to resettlement, is it limited the number of people evicted or the percentage they represent? The resettlement should take into account population growth as well. The families of those evicted Muslims would have grown since the eviction and all of those people should be resettled.

    • 6
      2

      Rajash

      Muslims were forcibly evicted by the LTTTE in 1990 from the northern province.

      • 2
        5

        Sumathy en Sunthari

        what would you do if a stranger squat outside your house and watch all your movements and tip off the burglar?

        • 7
          0

          Rajash

          “what would you do if a stranger squat outside your house and watch all your movements and tip off the burglar?”

          You mean 55,000 of them squatting outside your house, including children.

          Man that was hell of a lot of squatting.

          Then the householder grabbed everything from the squatters, earned and saved over many generations, including cash, gold and silver.

          Don’t forget the squatters also sacrificed 36 of their children fighting for LTTE.

          • 0
            3

            Native

            I am not condoning the acts of LTTE against the Muslims. At the same time Muslims also spied on the LTTE and tipping off the army

            IT’s like the govt forces bombing Tamil civilian areas to target the LTTE fighters. The LTTE at the height of the war need to do something to stop information flowing to the army. If they cant pin point who is tipping off the army then they have to do something. Remember this was a war situation.

            I don’t believe the LTTE targeted the Muslims as a race and ethnic cleansing was their objective. As you state 36 Muslims perished fighting for the LTTE.

            Muslim writers here in CT are using sensitive words and phrases such as:

            “LTTE Conquered Muslims and gave the land to the Tamils”

            “Ethnic cleansing of the Muslims by the LTTE”

            They never admit to the fact that Muslims were spying on LTTE and tipping off the army

            • 2
              0

              Rajash

              “They never admit to the fact that Muslims were spying on LTTE and tipping off the army”

              I am going to buy your point for an argument sake, maybe for a minute or two.

              Say the Muslims 55,000 of them indeed spied on LTTE.

              Why did the LTTE rob all their valuables and cash, chasing them away only with Rs200?

              Why didn’t LTTE ethnically cleanse Tamils for the same activities that they were accused of?

              Come on you can do better than this.

              I assure you I will not discriminate between people if and when I chose to pack all the kallathonies back to their ancestral homeland in India.

              • 0
                0

                Native

                I did say that I do not condone LTTE’s action.

                But I am contesting the notion it’s Ethnic cleansing.

            • 0
              0

              Tamil supporters and members of outfits like EPRLF, EPDP, PLOTE etc were the people who gave info on LTTE to the army. The masked informants were all Tamils. Why didn’t VP chase away all the non-LTTE Tamil families from the north? Blood is thicker than water?

            • 0
              0

              Muslims spying and tipping the Army: These were manipulations by the authorities to achieve their objectives. Not only Muslims, even Tamils and Sinhalese too spied and tipped.
              Bombing: Agreed. It was a war in which various tactics have to be deployed.
              Ethnic cleansing: In my view eviction from Jaffna cannot be considered as ethnic cleansing. This has relevance to the complicated situation that existed in the East like Muslims being suspected of intentionally spying for the Govt. etc. The background cannot be clearly identified. But it all happened due to the divisive methods use by the then Govt.
              Using sensitive words: Agreed that the statement LTTE conquered Muslims and gave the land to the Tamils is inappropriate. Perhaps it could be the writers choice of words; as no one could be 100% in the language he uses. Look at the many wrong words usages in other postings and articles. You and I are too not perfect.

    • 2
      2

      Local level mediation among communities leaders – from Muslim and Tamils and Sinhalas may be best to address this situations.

      • 0
        0

        A worthy suggestion to save all the people from existing divisive politics.

    • 4
      6

      Rajash

      they are using word conquered to rouse anger of Muslims youth to start Jihad. I suppose. That is what their holy book say. fight to take back land conquered by unbelievers.

      • 4
        6

        ranjith (sprrw) scatter brain Sociologist

        “they are using word conquered to rouse anger of Muslims youth to start Jihad.”

        Aren’t helping them as you did with LTTE?

        “That is what their holy book say. fight to take back land conquered by unbelievers.”

        What does your holy book Mahawamsa say about fighting the unbelievers, the Demelas?

        Though 2200 years have lapsed you seemed to be still fighting the Demelas and other minorities.

        • 3
          3

          Veddo, I guess you have heard the saying “nayata andukola”. Fit to you precisely. Whenever you heard the word ‘sinhala’ your like ‘naya’ who sees ‘andukola’. It is same, whenever you see the word ‘mahavamsa’. Paw appa oya!

          Anyway, thats your living and that’s what your paid for. You do the justice to the pay! Well done!

        • 1
          0

          Monitor lizard feed on garbage do you know that likewise sakkili live on garbage. you select best name for you instead Native Wedda.

          Mahawamsa mentioned word sinhala only on first few pages. that is to describe Vijaya’s ancestry. not to mention any race but mentioned name Tamil or DEmila in several places but not with hate.that is an advantage for Tamil.

          yes it talk on protection of Buddhism in this Island not from any race but may be from Hinduism. as such it created god concept base on mahabrakma entirely different to Hinduism gods concept. Is it the irritation for you.that does not make buddhists against Hindus though siva is out of equation. I do not think even five percent of Sinhalese buddhists have red Mahawamsa in full. as such as a Tamil you do not have to worry about it.

    • 4
      2

      The whole of the Tamil people are not in any way responsible for any injustice done to them by the LTTE. The Tamil people also have to a large extent suffered because of the LTTE. Let us be cautious of the words we use. Please read my comment in these columns on the article Lukman Harees has written as what should the Muslims do to overcome the problems faced by them.

      • 3
        2

        The first sentence in my posting should be corrected to read ‘The whole of the Tamil people are not in any way responsible for any injustice done to the Muslims by the LTTE’.

    • 2
      1

      Rajash

      Ethnic Cleansing is a War Crime, and those who committed the War Crime are War Criminals. It is one standard.

      Who were they?

      1. Mootal-Veeran, Peryawvar, Velupillai Prabakaran

      2. LTTE and the LTTE War Criminals

      3. Others who supported the War Criminals.

      A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the law of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, perfidy, rape, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and using weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

      War crimes are defined in the statute that established the International Criminal Court, which includes:

      Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:

      Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
      Torture or inhumane treatment
      Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property
      Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power
      Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial
      Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer
      Taking hostages

      The following acts as part of an international conflict:

      Civilians killed in the shelling of east Ukraine’s Luhansk. According to the HRW report, “The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes.”

      Directing attacks against civilians
      Directing attacks against humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
      Killing a surrendered combatant
      Misusing a flag of truce
      Settlement of occupied territory
      Deportation of inhabitants of occupied territory
      Using poison weapons
      Using civilians as shields
      Using child soldiers
      Firing upon a Combat Medic with clear insignia.

      The following acts as part of a non-international conflict:

      Murder, cruel or degrading treatment and torture
      Directing attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
      Taking hostages
      Summary execution
      Pillage
      Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution or forced pregnancy

      However the court only has jurisdiction over these crimes where they are “part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crime

      • 1
        2

        Amarasiri

        I agree Ethnic Cleansing is a war crime.

        So I Genocide – definition – the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

        I don’t need to spell out which group in Sri Lanka.

        Genocide is worse war crime than ethnic cleansing.

        • 1
          1

          correction – so is Genocide

    • 2
      1

      LTTE did rob this land and gave it to Tamils. That is why Jaffna district became Tamil only.

      Learn history.

      Tamils did the same thing to Singhalese in Colombo city. They bombed them out of the city and colonized it.

      • 0
        0

        Where did you buy your history book?

    • 1
      0

      The simple fact that Jaffna Muslims have to settle in some jungle shows Tamils still don’t allow Jaffna Muslims to live in their original homes in Jaffna.

      Shame!

  • 2
    2

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 1
      2

      B.S.

    • 5
      1

      jim softy the dimwit

      Thanks.

      Your BS sounds better than your typing above.

  • 2
    0

    Dimwit Thanks

  • 5
    6

    MUSLIM “INTELLIGENT OFFICERS’ WHO SPIED ON NORTHERN TAMILS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EVICTION OF MUSLIMS. WHEN THE MUSLIMS SPIED ON THE TAMILS THEY NEVER REALIZED THAT SOMEDAY THE SINHALA-BUDDHISTS WILL TURN AGAINST THEM.

    • 3
      3

      This lie has been told many times over by the LTTE fan club to justify LTTE’s criminal act of ethnic cleansing.
      If there were spies they could have been picked out and punished. It would have been a routine job for the LTTE Intelligence Wing.

      The LTTE did something stupid. They could not defend it. They at least expressed regret later– but no apology though.
      The LTTE hangers seem stuck in the mud.

    • 0
      1

      What absurd logic.

      In the same vein the army should have done the same thing to Tamils in Colombo saying they spied for the LTTE!

      Stop justifying ethnic cleansing. It will happen to you.

      • 1
        0

        Fathima Fukushima

        “What absurd logic. In the same vein the army should have done the same thing to Tamils in Colombo saying they spied for the LTTE! “

        The army or for that matter the successive Sinhala Govt did not need any justification for the countless race riots of ethnic cleansing against the Tamils.

  • 5
    2

    Dr. Mohommed, I have few questions which need clarification from you. Please answer.

    1. Can you please tell us where is this abandoned mosque exactly situated and in which forest reserve? in 1938 the muslim population in Mannar district is about 10,000 and lived mostly in and around Mannar suburbs.

    2. Does this land has a deed? If not how they built it in the middle of the jungle in 1938?

    3. If there is no deed, how did muslims build it in the middle of forest reserve in 1938? Apparently this mosque bearing the resemblence to the muslim mosque’s built after 80’s in SL. So I think this mosque built after 80’s.

    4.If the muslims lived in these area’s before since 1936’s, what they did to survive? There were no paddy fields or chena cultivation. As I remember government started cashew growing in Kondachchi area. Other than that I did not hear anything else growing there.

    5. In Hiru TV news as well as other media’s show that huge trees fell down to build houses. So as a person who has a normal brain, can you say how many years will it take to a tree to grew which has three-four feet circumference?

    6. And as a normal person I think you can see the areial footages showing these days in mass media covering this forest area and can you see any sign of human habitats were there before they cleared the jungle?

    7. And what these people going to do in the middle of the jungle for a living. To cut the rest of the jungle and sell for timber and firewood? And kill the animals and eat? Or maybe Qatar government to provide a allowance just to breed more kids to colonise whole Wilpattuwa?

    8. And can’t you understand that a surrounding jungles are necessary to protect the main jungle in any place? Even if there were muslim people lived that area, what muslims must do is to let the jungle remain as the same and fight to get lands somewhere else in Mannar. Without doing it, Bathurdeen and the rest destroying a vigin jungle and the curse for it comes to the pretty soon.

    • 4
      3

      rana

      ” In Hiru TV news as well as other media’s show that huge trees fell down to build houses. So as a person who has a normal brain, can you say how many years will it take to a tree to grew which has three-four feet circumference?”

      So as a person who has an abnormal brain, can you say how many years will it take to replace all those trees felled down in the name of development, new colonisation, road building, mega hydraulic projects, tree horas, ….. maybe since 1940s?

      • 1
        3

        NV, The answer to the question you ask, will give it to you when Dr.Mohommed reply to my question.

        • 3
          0

          rana

          “The answer to the question you ask, will give it to you when Dr.Mohommed reply to my question.”

          My question is completely independent of Dr. Mohamed Shareef Asees article.

          If you haven’t got the answers, its alright.

          • 1
            2

            NV, I have answer. If anybody cut down a virgin forest for development or to settle people, nobody can reforested it again as the same. There is a colorful word called “Reforestation” but it is only for politicians and some INGO’s just for their own survival. As a jungle man only eating animal flesh, yam and honey I think you have a brain just to digest what I mean.

            • 2
              0

              rana with abnormal brain

              My original question:

              So as a person who has an abnormal brain, can you say how many years will it take to replace all those trees felled down in the name of development, new colonisation, road building, mega hydraulic projects, tree horas, ….. maybe since 1940s?

              Can I remind you what Mark Twain said?

              “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

              • 0
                0

                NV, It is your definition that I have an abnormal brain. I don’t have that kind of brain to give an answer which may satisfy you. And also If I have an abnormal brain, I am not wasting my time here to answer your brainless questions. If you not satisfied my answer you go and ask this questin from a botanist,environmentalist or go to your ancestors in Mahiyangane. Yeah I know you bloody liars wants to shut my mouth, because you and the rest don’t have answers to my questions. That is why you keep ask questions from me,without answering mine. It is a poor tactic an intelligent guy like you should not follow.

                • 2
                  0

                  You typed:

                  ” In Hiru TV news as well as other media’s show that huge trees fell down to build houses. So as a person who has a normal brain, can you say how many years will it take to a tree to grew which has three-four feet circumference?”

                  I asked you a simple question:

                  “So as a person who has an abnormal brain, can you say how many years will it take to replace all those trees felled down in the name of development, new colonisation, road building, mega hydraulic projects, tree horas, ….. maybe since 1940s?”

                  Now you type:

                  “And also If I have an abnormal brain, I am not wasting my time here to answer your brainless questions. If you not satisfied my answer you go and ask this questin from a botanist, environmentalist or go to your ancestors in Mahiyangane.”

                  My original question was to highlight your hypocrisy, bigoted views, selective amnesia and idiocy. And the conclusion is you are a racist.

                  I am not interested in your abnormal brain, weather you have one or not.

    • 1
      0

      My grandfather’s mannar house was build in 1940. Resemblance is similar to this mosque. Who build the Madhu church in the middle of the jungles in 1924.? Do you know it has a 400 years history.

  • 2
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
    2

    When it come to the issues of Muslims, matters are not taken seriously. Facts are sacred; why not the Prime Minister or the President appoint a independent commission and sort the matters out and give the rightful ownership to the IDP’s based on the findings of the Commission. Do not drag the issues and argue pointing fingers at each other. It is the total responsibility of the Government to ensure the citizen of this country are given equal rights and not to discriminate based on their ethnic identity and religion. Rise above the petty issues.

  • 6
    2

    Mohomad,

    Are you saying that the mosque in the picture was built in 1938 using concrete, cement, bricks,etc? Funny! The architecture and materials suggest that it was built in the 80s. SL Muslims are supposed to be a business community, they don’t live in the jungle, who did they do their business with? with animals?

    The so called IDP people don’t want to live in the jungle, the cheap house they were given are now vacated. Somehow the politician in question is now one of the richest in the country.

    Willpaththuwa jungle is closest place that is close to India, so the place was used to all kind of illegal activities. The picture of the place of worship was a temporary preterm station for those who were passing through. Otherwise no one can stay there permanently because the area is always subjected to severe drought, depending on agriculture is unthinkable, only some seasonal fishermen live/lived by the sea. In early 70s army camps were setup to stop illegal immigration and other illegal activities.

    • 3
      3

      Correction:

      “The picture of the place of worship was a temporary praying station for those who were passing through illegally.”

      • 1
        3

        Yes, and John the baptist also prayed at that ‘temporary praying station’ on his frequents jaunts between India and SL, illegally smuggling kallathonis for money. Aney ban, don’t try to put a spin people’s misery. It is their land that they lived and cultivated. They are legitimate owners. They have deeds to prove it. It was they who abandoned it when chased out due to ethnic cleansing by your folks. The LLRC recommended they be settled in their own homelands, which now the government misleadingly declares as forest land. There seems to be no justice at all to those poor people, and you too bear no mercy towards their misery. Uts not the animals in those jungles you care about, but the hurt you can cause to displaced people since they are Muslims. If Jesus or Lord Buddha was alive, you will be told how unjust and unfair you are to other human beings, in no uncertain terms.

      • 2
        0

        Johnny boy

        ““The picture of the place of worship was a temporary praying station for those who were passing through illegally.”

        Well, if that is the case, none should be living on this island except my people.

        When are you leaving?

  • 2
    4

    Muslims are forcibly squatting on CT.

    • 0
      0

      Words seem to be a bit racial. Are they from progressive thinking or learnt from Gnanasara?

      • 0
        0

        why is it Racial?
        don’t take it literally.

        Suddenly so called Muslim scholars are queuing up to post about so called “Ethnic Cleansing” of the Muslims by LTTE. That is also racial.

        • 0
          0

          Contest their views if you do not agree, why worry about the number turning-up. Does not anyone has the right to contribute? Is it not acceptable to progressive thinking.

          • 0
            0

            my point is its not Racial.
            I am contesting their views and sometimes in a controversial manner to provoke and encourage open discussion, as you may have seen my comments.

            • 0
              0

              These words are encouraging and the good intention is appreciated

    • 0
      1

      You sound like a racist.

      What is wrong with you? Did you take the medicine today?

      • 0
        0

        Fathima Fukushima “You sound like a racist. “

        ha ha coming from you!

  • 2
    0

    It is a great tragedy what happened to the Muslims. Muslims and Tamils lived happy in the north, but terrorists had different agendas.

    In order to rectify the astrocrities committed y the LTTE, he TNA actively encouraged Muslims to return. They also asked the central government to prioritize settlement of Muslims. Muslims are not prevented from returning, unlike displaced Tamils, hence the involvement of the international community. Some Muslims have returned. Tamils are prevented from returning in certain areas.

    I asked Muslims from Kalpititya and Puttalam in my fieldwork, why don’t you want to return. They say they that are happy where they are now, and it is their home. If they want to return, government at every level should facilitate their return.

  • 0
    0

    Where are these so called environmentalist and media when it comes to clearing of forest for Sinhala settlements in Vavuniya and Jaffna. Now the proposed clearing of 15000 acres in Hambantota?

  • 0
    0

    I posted the following comment for Mr. Hilmly Ahamed’s article on CT, and I find it is relevant to this article as well:

    “Sirisena fooled you first and you voted him; then you tried to fool him by demanding favors for your community but failed miserably (he has now decided to expand the Wilpattu Sanctuary’s boundaries and stop illegal encroachment); you again tried through the UNP’s general secretary (a powerful Muslim minister) and got fooled again (this article is the result of that misfired act, as I hear). You forget the fact that Sirisena is a SLFP man and he is reasonable with all ethnic groups but when it came to elections he had no option but fool everyone including the Indians and the West’s neo-liberals. That’s an election-time political strategy; and even in the US it is a common occurrence.
    However, the history shows that you don’t have to be overly ethnic-friendly to win presidential/general elections (e.g. recent US presidential election)!
    Rajapaksa is/was a long time trustworthy friend of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. He was a sensitive man who sympathized with all ethnic communities who faced difficulties on a daily basis. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have decided to finish the war! He could have made a lot more money with an unfinished war rather than a post-war situation (if he had wanted to do so). We all know that it was the minority ethnic communities that benefitted the most due to ending of terrorism in SL, but they never appreciate it but instead tried to back-stab the man who did the job. (Your map shows it!)
    You know how ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa helped the Palestine people despite a lot of international pressure and obstacles, but the Muslim community, that is so slavish to their leadership, stabbed him in the back (as a block) at last presidential election; this showed once again their dirty but true traditional color! And I don’t think any SL leader would ever try to give any special favors to you, not any more. Simply put it, no politician in SL would try to help you by making any more U turns in this millennium! Please, therefore, try to live like a normal Sri Lankan and not like a specially privileged ethnic group with special laws!
    As you say, if you want, you can turn to the JVP and see what happens! It sounds like you have not learnt a lesson from all your past foolish acts?”

    • 0
      1

      “As you say, if you want, you can turn to the JVP and see what happens! It sounds like you have not learnt a lesson from all your past foolish acts?” “

      Instead of spying on lTTE they should have supported LTTE.
      Even now they don’t want to unite with the Tamils even though they speak the language.

      Now their last resort is JVP!

      Muslims always sit on the fence to get the best of both worlds.
      But you cant fool all the people all the time

      • 0
        0

        TURNING TO THE JVP: Political thinking changes and develops according to different circumstances that people face. Political uncertainties in Sri Lanka is such no one can hold a permanent view on which party to support. Sinhalese change from the UNP to SLFP every five years and now some have started thinking of the JVP. Tamils had the Tamil Congress, Federal Party,etc. etc. Some were with the Left parties. Also, the population distribution of the Muslims is such that they have to maintain friendship with all the communities. Tamils are dominant in the North, therefore they are able to dictate matters when it come to the issues of the Tamil. Muslims are not in that position. Muslims who have been generally supporting the UNP or the SLFP now are looking towards the JVP as the result of past experiences. This has to be taken as healthy development in the political thinking of the Muslims in getting away from past thinking. Do not forget that there were Muslim MPs in the Tamil parties. A change in the political thinking cannot be considered as sitting on the fence. THE JVP IS GIVING HOPES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE LIVES OF ALL THE PEOPLE AND I INVITE ALL THE PEOPLE TO CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE JVP.

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out] Comments should not exceed 300 words.Please read our Comments Policy for further details.

  • 0
    1

    Dr. Asees! You are a Uni don and you can not lie! Please answer the following question with legal documentary information. Then we’ll find out who built it and for what.
    “Are you saying that the mosque in the picture was built in 1938 using concrete, cement, bricks,etc? Funny! The architecture and materials suggest that it was built in the 80s. SL Muslims are supposed to be a business community, they don’t live in the jungle, who did they do their business with? with animals?”

  • 1
    0

    @ A non-Muslim,

    Dear Friend,

    Can you say from when the Maligawa, Kalaniya Viaharaya, Gangarama Viaharaya etc. was in existence?
    “Are you saying that based on the picture, materials and architecture.. These Viharays’s too was built in the 80s?? Funny!
    Let stop hatred and find out a solution…. if anyone violated the rules of the land will unite and take legal action..

    Waiting to see the authorities to act.

  • 0
    1

    To Citizen,
    Yes, sir, we can say exactly who built, when, and under whose guidance those Viaharas were built.
    If you want details about the oldest buildings such as Ruvanveliseya, and Lova-Mahapaya, please read Mahawansa written in Pali by Venerable Mahanama.

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    1

    Well said Dr. Asees! Some of the comments lamented against this article seem to be the opinions of people sitting in Colombo air-conditioned rooms. They do not know the ground situation in the area under reference. Dr. Asees witnessed what he has seen in Musali during his visit. The Muslims’ hometowns in the North were not conquered by the LTTE; rather the forcible eviction was an ethnic cleansing and genocide. Any one may obtain the meaning of the “ethnic cleansing and genocide” from the International Law. There are deeds available for private lands in the area, dated back from 1908. One deed has been signed by the Governor of Northern Province dated 23rd March 1924 vesting ownership of a six acres land to one Mohammadu Maraikkayar in Karadikkuli. If anyone likes to see the copy of these deeds, I will be pleased to send it via electronic media. Ironically, Muslims settlement in Wilpattu is a non-existing and fabricated allegation. It is polarised with sinister political motive and religiously biased due to the active participation of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who is from the marginalised community. Only 208 hectares have been properly handed over to these IDPs out of the 2800 hectares land acquired by the Wildlife Conservation Department during October 2012.Thousands of hectares of forests have been destroyed for settlements in Namalgama in Vavuniya, Velioya in Mullaitivu and along the Puttalam-Anuradhapura Road. Wilpattu Wild Reserve is restrained within Anuradhapura and Puttalam Districts and nothing to do with Mannar District. It is clearly surrounded by and bordering the Modaragama River to the north of these two districts. The Muslims’ settlements are well within the boundary of Mannar District and beyond the demarcated buffer-zone by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. One should visit and observe the meticulous scenario in Kondachchi, Marichchukkatty, Karadikkuli, Kayakuli and Palaikkuli. Finally, I’m at lost to understand the silent stance of Opposition Party Leader Sampanthan and Minister Rauf Hakeem of SLMC, who claim that they are the saviours and godfathers of minority and sub-minority communities. However, what will be modus-operandi of the Chief Minister of Northern Province Vignaeshwaran, if he confronts similar situation for Tamils in his Jaffna District?
    Musali Maraikkayar

    • 0
      1

      Those so called deeds are not valid, given to them by then the illegal criminal British government. Those lands weren’t theirs, they were belonged to Sinhalese.

      • 0
        0

        The British Govt. gave the English language to the Sri Lankans. We using a langage given to us illegaly, perhaps.

  • 1
    1

    The masjid appeared in the photograph was definitely constructed before 1956. I still remember I have accompanied my father, who used to attend prayers in this masjid in 1957. If you people need archaeological incidences, please try to send an archaeological team, just like what is happening in the Eastern Province.

    Musali Maraikkayar

  • 0
    0

    Hope Mr. John is a rice Christian (Please verify the meaning), whose religion is an imported ideology to Sri Lanka. Moreover, according to his argument only Kuweni and her heirs such as Uruwarige Vannila Aththo (Mahiyangana Vedda Chieftain) are the legitimate citizens of this country and the all others are “Kallathoni” including him.
    Musali Maraikkaryar

  • 0
    0

    Does it serve any purpose in debating the origins, arrivals, or settlement of any community, race or religious groups. Migration is a natural phenomenon and it applies to all living beings. Classification as different communities and groups are for purpose of identification and religions are for man’s well-being; so are philosophies. What matters is if every human being wishes to live in peace differences not related to daily living should not be taken as factors that divide people which will cause continued disagreements, disputes and conflicts leading loss of life as we have seen in the history of Sri Lanka a unfortunate consequence of errant politicians manipulating the natural differences for their political advantage. To be a little personal I lived in the multi-communal locality, attended a school in which children of all communities and religions studied and we respected each other and I worked in an Institution side by side with all the groups where we participated in which we shared happiness and sorrows of each other and the welfare of each other. I still carry those beautiful and pleasant memories. I look forward to the revival of the same environment for the future generations of Sri Lanka.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.