Legal Action Against UNHCR
A coalition partner of the governing UPFA, the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) is to initiate legal action against the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for its failure to provide relief to the Muslims who have been displaced due to the three decade long ethnic conflict in the country. ACMC Leader and Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said the party was currently consulting its lawyers to commence legal action against the UNHCR.
Bathiudeen told The Sunday Leader that the UNHCR provided Rs. 25,000 to each resettled family following the end of the war but has failed to extend the facility to the displaced Muslims.
He said the ACMC has been engaged in discussions with the UNHCR for the last two years in order to secure relief measures for the thousands of Muslims who were evicted from the North and displaced due to the war.
Muslims in the North were forcibly evicted from the area by the LTTE in 1990.
Around 100,000 Muslims who resided in the Northern Province were forcibly evicted after being given 24 hours notice on October 25, 1990.
A large number of the evicted Muslims settled down in temporary shelters in the Puttalam District.
According to Bathiudeen, the displaced Muslims should also be provided with the same relief measures like the other war displaced.
“The UNHCR said that most of the Muslims had been displaced a long time ago and therefore could not be provided with the relief measures being given to the most recently displaced persons,” he observed.