Injustice in Mannar – Tamil Extremist Forces threaten Muslim Resettlement
Posted on July 31st, 2012

By Dr Hasbullah

  • Tamil politicians, Tamil state officials, the Catholic clergy and the legal system in the north including in Mannar have been trying their best to prevent the return of Muslims who have waited for more than two decades to return to their places of origin in the north of the country. The Muslim displaced hoped that these forces would help and facilitate their rightful return to the north with self-respect and dignity after the end of the war. But unfortunately, this did not happen.
  • In Mannar, the Catholic Church and its leading priests are in the background planning and executing an agenda to ensure the non-return of Muslims to the region. They are doing this with the help of other anti-Muslim forces in the Tamil community.
  • The legal establishment in the north and in Mannar was used by these forces to deny or grab lands belonging to Muslims, and to impinge on other traditional rights enjoyed by Muslims for decades. A good example of this is what happened recently to the Muslim fishermen of Uppukulam in Mannar.
  • The incident in  Uppukulam, Mannar was one among many such denials of the rights of returnee Muslims.    
  • Many are unaware of how thousands of acres of land (the figure mentioned is not an exaggeration) that legally belong to Muslims have been misappropriated by the joint action of the above mentioned forces – a situation which I hope soon will soon come to light. I cannot give the full details of these attempts because those people affected will have to go through the legal system to challenge this. Also if I provide this information at the present juncture, I may be accused of contempt of court because some of the court rulings have yet to be challenged by these poor returnee Muslims.  However, if necessary, I can substantiate this matter in future correspondence without interfering with any legal proceedings.But the question is whether these poor, innocent people will have the capacity to challenge such a powerful force which is behind this unjust agenda, or whether this land issue will end like what happened to the Uppukulam Muslim fishermen. In other words, those Muslims who have lost lands are also in need of legal and other help from concerned people in order to challenge the powerful opposing forces in Mannar.   
  • The Mannar Uppukulam fisherfolk were driven by the forces of Tamil extremism to take to the streets to seek justice as the normal legal and administrative system have failed to rectify their genuine grievances for nearly a decade.
  • These Tamil forces are are quite clear in their agenda, and are using the media and other information channels  to discredit the plight of returnee Muslims. It is very unfortunate that this is being  done by a group said to be representing another discriminated population (minority) of the country who too seek justice for what happened to them during the long years of ethnic conflict and civil war. 
  • Many Sri Lankans do not realize that the displaced Muslims of Mannar who at present constitute less than one per cent of the northern population, form about 15 to 20 percent of the total number of Muslims displaced from the northern province. Other displaced Muslims who are yet to return to the north may decide not to return because of the ongoing racism and anti-Muslim activities of Tamil nationalistic forces. 
  • At the same time, it must be mentioned that at present many displaced Muslims are faced with numerous social, economic, political and environmental problems in the places where they live now (for example, in Puttalam and other places in the south).  They will soon be removed from having the right to return to their places of origin by the state because the state has already indicated that they will do so. If this happens, the displaced population will be left with no alternative place to live other than the place where they live now. They will also loose the rights of return that include rights of assets and properties in the north not to mention their other traditional, cultural and religious rights in their places of origin. If this happens, they will be the real ‘forgotten people’ of the country.
  • Tamil nationalist forces are trying to portray the returnee Muslims as anti-social elements in the north. In some respect, they have been successful in doing this.  They have already been successful in painting this picture in Jaffna. This is another issue that requires the attention of those who are concern about the plight of the northern Muslims.
  • The Tamil media –  local, national and international – are spreading the idea that Muslims ‘do not belong in Tamil national territory’ and that they are ‘inimical to Tamil national aspirations’. Unfortunately, it appears as if some of the non-Tamil national and international media have also been caught up in the systematic propaganda of Tamil nationalist and anti-Muslim forces.
  • The hatred being promoted against Muslims by Tamil groups is almost equal to or more than that displayed during the LTTE’s ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the north in 1990. It is quite unfortunate that forces among the Tamils are acting in this negative manner. At the same time, there are progressive  forces and individuals among Tamils who acknowledge the grave injustice done to the Muslims of the north, and who want to take necessary positive measures to rectify what happened to Muslim victims in the past and present. Unfortunately, the progressive forces are numerically and politically very small, and they are too weak to make any substantial impact on the rights of the northern Muslims. It is necessary to recognize and get the help of positive forces among the Tamils in order to facilitate true reconciliation among different populations in the conflict-affected north and east of the country.    
  • It is the duty of all peace-loving Sri Lankan citizens to be aware of these developments, and it is their duty not to allow another historical mistake to be committed by Tamil nationalistic forces who are trying to prevent the return of displaced Muslims to their places of origin. Even with all these challenges facing them, many displaced Muslims want to return home to live with dignity and self-respect because they are left with no other option in the present political frame work of the country. Therefore, we cannot rule out  the possibility of using the goodwill and commitments of those progressive forces  in all communities especially among Tamils in the future for this.
  • It is the duty of all to help the northern Muslims to stand firmly against the challenges that they are facing now. In this respect, we have to look at the issue of the denial of the right of return to northern Muslims without considering personal political and other interests. Very frankly, political unity among Muslim politicians is a must at this juncture. I beg our political leaders to unite on this issue. I pray this request will be heard and fulfilled.  

9 Responses to “Injustice in Mannar – Tamil Extremist Forces threaten Muslim Resettlement”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Some LTTE terrorists complain govt gave Rishard a helicopter.

    Govt should have given him a helicopter gunship!!

    If Muslims are further harassed in Mannar, Muslims should do the same to Tamils in Trinco and Ampara. Otherwise this will continue. Why can’t some Tamils just live peacefully with others? Why they always want to create Tamil ONLY Tamil Madus everywhere they go? Disgusting!

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    Understand the role and agenda of the Catholic Church for Sri Lanka – I mean the whole of Sri Lanka – anybody can understand what is happening. They plan to create a Catholic land in the same territories the Racist Tamils call Eelam. In the rest of the land too unethical conversions are going a pace.

    Muslims are opportunists and they too are land grabbing all over the island. In Colombo they are buying out land outright with cash.
    The powers that be are silent on these issues for their own political survival. The Buddhist hierarchy haven’t got a clue whether they are coming or going. The ultimate victims are Sinhala Buddhists in their hallowed land. It is time far thinking persons including the military take a long and hard look and take measures that will ensure the future well being of all Sri Lanka.

    Neither the Muslims nor the Tamils mean well for Sri Lanka – they are opportunists and land grabbers!

  3. Marco Says:

    Ratanapala
    I’m sure it must irk you even more when the politicians are able to allocate/donate/steal land (not belonging) for ventures which benefits them (kick backs) and the Colombians.
    example:
    New city to be erected in Sri Lankan capital with a Formula One race track.
    Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena has said that a 575-acre area of the sea opposite the Galle Face Green is being filled up to build the new Colombo city.

    Construction of the new Colombo City will be completed by a private investor in 39 months at an investment of US$ 900 million.

    The proposed offshore city, to be divided into three segments- business, residential and leisure, will be developed into a modern city with high rises, hotels, residential apartments, shopping malls, and other space to cater to the public needs.

    And who do you think the private investors are?

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Both Tamils and Muslims are outsiders to SL.

    But Muslims are way better than the Tamil-colonial team. Don’t forget Tamils are backed by the colonials. Muslims are not.

    If a choice is to be made between the 2 dumps, the obvious good choice is Muslims. At least they have the backbone to fight the western mafia. No one else has. Even Russia and China backed down from fighting the western mafia.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Some LTTE terrorists want Colombo to remain Chennai-2.

    Bad luck. EVERYWHERE Tamils are Arabs will soon outnumber them. Including Colombo.

  6. M.S.MUDALI Says:

    Colombo is a city with outsiders. portugeuse found the city. Now the Colombo citizens there bark they are Sinhalese.Muslims in Mannar and Puttalam were sent by kings of Kerala but Colombo people came with Porthugeuse Parangiyas.. Still they feel they outsiders and big people. They think they are close to WHITES.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    “Colombo is a city with outsiders.”

    This is true today more than ever. Most of them are South Indians speaking a south Indian language.

  8. Dham Says:

    Even parangiyas became Sihnala Buddhist and Sinhala Catholics. Tamils are unable to do so, they prefer to commit sucide indulged in a false histroy and imagination.

  9. Dham Says:

    Muslims are opportunists and they too are land grabbing all over the island. In Colombo they are buying out land outright with cash.
    The powers that be are silent on these issues for their own political survival. The Buddhist hierarchy haven’t got a clue whether they are coming or going. The ultimate victims are Sinhala Buddhists in their hallowed land. It is time far thinking persons including the military take a long and hard look and take measures that will ensure the future well being of all Sri Lanka.
    Neither the Muslims nor the Tamils mean well for Sri Lanka – they are opportunists and land grabbers!

    Well said Rantapala. 110% true. This has been happening for 20 years now. Where the money came from ? Afganistan poppy fields. Muslim buying has slowed down a bit after 9/11 and Tamil celbrations came to a halt in 19/5. But all these are not permanent. Land grab goes on. 90% of coast is own by the Christian west.

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