Displaced Muslim residents of Musali divisional secretariat division in Mannaar district are being prevented by the occupying Sri Lanka Navy under the pretext that the area has been brought under the high security zone. Rishard Badurdeen, a cabinet rank SL minister, who has been working with the Colombo government to appropriate lands of Tamils in Mannaar district, is now being accused by his own community for his inability to stop Colombo’s appropriation of lands that belong to Muslims from Musali division, according to representatives of displaced people from Musali.
8 temporary sheds were completely burnt down and 21 were damaged two months ago. Resettlement-seeking Muslims suspect that the Sri Lanka Navy was behind the destruction of their temporary shelters. But, no action was taken against the suspected Sinhala navy personnel. More than fifty families are residing in temporary huts.
475 families who were solely depending on fishing and cultivation for their survival were living in the area before displacement in 1990.
Now, five years any military confrontation in the area, the SL Navy is obstructing the resettlement in the name of ‘High Security Zone’, the affected Muslims complain.
Maha season paddy cultivation has begun in neighboring villages and the displaced Muslim people find it difficult to ensure their livelihood due to obstruction placed by the occupying Sri Lanka Navy.
The SLN officials have been repeatedly assuring the Muslim politicians and officials that they are not putting obstruction for the resettlement. But, they work against their assurances as usual, the affected families complain.
The Sri Lanka Navy also keeps closed the B379 road from public use, forcing the Muslim people to travel 70 km instead of using the 4 km road to reach Rahumaniya from Puththa’lam.
The Muslim minister who plays a key role in generating animosity between Catholics and Muslims and who drives Muslims to appropriate lands of Tamils in Mannaar, is unable to take action against the SL Navy that is obstructing his own community to resettle in their lands, the affected families say.