Muslim refugees ask to go home

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 June 1999, 16:13 GMT]
About three hundred Muslim families living at the Love Lane refugee camp in Trincomalee town have asked the Divisional Secretary of Kuchchaveli to take immediate steps to resettle them in the homes.

The refugees were displaced from Iqbal Nagar, a village about 7 km. north of Trincomalee town on the Uppaveli - Nilaveli road during the ethnic violence of the early 1990's.

In a memorandum to the authorities, the Iqbal Nagar Refugee's Welfare Society has said that the unhygienic conditions of the camp at Love Lane has led to various social problems.

"We have suffered enough in the camps. Our children have been denied a good education. The young people in the camp are being misled by various element that will ruin their future.

To tackle these social problems we are willing to go back to our village and start life afresh. Hence, we appeal to you to make early arrangements to resettle us in Iqbal Nagar ," says the memorandum signed by the President and Secretary of the Refugees' Welfare Society.

Meanwhile, a top level conference held at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday has decided that in future all relief work for displaced people will be controlled by the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority For North (RRAN).

Relief work has been defined to include the distribution of dry rations, the maintenance of welfare centres and refugee camps, the supply of food under emergency situations and the transport of stranded passengers and displaced refugees to the peninsula.

Responsibility for rehabilitation, resettlement and reconstruction projects that were handled by RRAN but initially devolved to the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) under the thirteenth constitutional amendment will now bee returned to the NEPC, the conference decided.

The conference was attended by the Governor of the North-eastern Province, the Chief Secretary, the Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Councils.

The RRAN was established by the President to start development projects for displaced people in the north of the island.


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