Resettlement should focus on most deserving –Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 November 2002, 19:45 GMT]
Tamil national alliance MP, Mr. R. Sampanthan, Monday strongly objected to moves by Sri Lankan government officials to ignore the most deserving and the most numerous Internally Displaced Persons in Trincomalee and instead to give priority to demographic balance in selecting families for resettlement projects in the district.

The TNA MP raised objections when a S. L govt. official addressing the Trincomalee District Co-ordinating Committee (DCC) meeting Monday said Tamils, Muslims and Singhalese should be given equal priority in resettlement in Trincomalee.


Trincomalee DCC meeting.
TNA parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan addressing the Trinco DCC as co-chairman (L-R) TNA national list parliamentarian K.Thurairatnasingham, another co-chairman K.M.Thowfeek, Government Agent N.P.K.Nelumdeniya.
"We must be fair by all the people affected by the war when implementing resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in the northeast. However our focus should be based mainly on the community that suffered immensely due to the twenty year old war. In the northeast Tamils have been badly affected by the war. More than one million Tamils have been displaced and are living in camps and elsewhere. This should be borne in the minds of those responsible for the implementation of resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects," said Trincomalee district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr.R. Sampanthan who is the co-chairman of the Trincomalee District Co-ordinating Committee.

The govt. official cited said that in the Trincomalee town and gravets division, Kanniya has been selected for resettlement of displaced Tamils, Vilgam Vihare for Sinhalese and Aalankulam for Muslims.

Mr. Sampanthan further stated that in the Trincomalee district alone, more than five hundred thousand Tamils lost their homes and were displaced from their birthplaces.

"Several villages in Mutur area have been destroyed in the war. Properties belonging to Tamils have been destroyed. All affected persons should be helped to start their lives afresh. But we should think in broader terms in helping the community most affected by the war the Tamils," Mr.Sampanthan stressed.

Referring to the ongoing peace process and the anticipated foreign funding in developing the war ravaged northeastern province, Mr.Sampanthan said it is a golden opportunity to develop the country.

He appealed to security officials present at the meeting: "we need your co-operation for ensuring freedom of movement for the displaced people who return for resettlement in their villages. Freedom of movement should also be guaranteed for the displaced when they resettle in their own lands, the MP said."

Trincomalee district Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarian Mr.K.M.Thowfeek is the other co-chairman of the DCC and TNA national list parliamentarian Mr. K. Thurairatnasingham also attended the meeting.

 

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