Posted on June 2nd, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Alan Keenan , of the International Crisis Group addressing members of Chatham House in London said giving immediate attention to Muslim refugees who were chased out of Jaffna in 1990 October is not appropriate.

Keenan was referring to nearly 100,000 Muslims who were chased out of Jaffna Peninsula in an act of ethnic cleansing by the Late Velupillai Prabhakaran allowing them to carry only the equivalent of $ 5 US in Sri Lanka money of their wealth and leaving the balance and other valuables, jewellery and real estate properties to the terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

He said he had been informed that President Rajapaksa had informed that when Jaffna resettlements take place those people should be given priority.

The International Crisis group representative who belongs to a NGO that proposed foreign intervention in Sri Lanka through the dogma called R2P had been always involved in controversies regarding Sri Lanka.

The Muslims of Jaffna, who lost all their property and wealth to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorists were virtually turned to penury and some started living in Puttlam , a Muslim majority area in squalid conditions. The horrible IDP crisis was completely ignored by the Western press.

Keenan did not describe why, the forcibly chased out refugees should be allowed to go back to their former homes just like the other refugees as the longest suffering category of refugees in Sri Lanka, on a priority basis. He however said some have found places to live on their own by now. He said priority should be given only to the current refugees.

Speaking of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province he accused what he called “Sinhalizaion”.He did not mention even before the last war one third of the province was Sinhalese and during the years there had been a population shift of the Tamils in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The latest population figures show the majority of Tamils now live out of Northern and Eastern Provinces. The crisis group representative did not show these facts to the audience. While there was no opposition shown against Tamils migrating to other provinces they were only against an alleged Sinhala migration to the Eastern Province. Under Sri Lanka’s Constitution people are free to live anywhere they wish to live.

Keenan accused the India produced 13th amendment is a confused document that did not devolve power but only delegated power. The power could be taken back , he charged.

In the Indian state governments, if power is abused, the state governments could be dissolved and the delegated power taken back by the Center.


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