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Let us join hands with the Government to find an expeditious solution to the settlement of displaced people of the North and East

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Al Mashoora 6 Resettle EngAL MASHOORAH : Issue No.06 :

Let us join hands with the Government to find an expeditious solution to the settlement of displaced people of the North and East

The Internally Displaced People (IDP) of the North and East, victims of the Tamil separatist conflict are still languishing in refugee camps, in temporary shelters and with their relatives in many parts of Sri Lanka in spite of the war being over since 2009.

For almost three decades they have been enduring the calamities of death, destruction, dispossession, dislocation and loss of dignity. They were ethnically cleansed initially by the LTTE, then relocated by the previous governments and then left to mend for themselves in that utter state of destitution. Today, when the rest of the country is gearing towards a brighter future in 2016 with a new government and new development initiatives, our responsibility to these suffering citizens of our country should not be forgotten.

The National Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena is positively desirous of resettling the  IDPs in their places of origin.  The National Shoora Council (NSC) congratulates the government for its sincere and positive overtures towards seeking a permanent solution to the IDP problem. The NSC wishes to be a proactive partner with the government in this effort and is willing to commit itself towards charting a prosperous future for all.

NSC acknowledges that the Elam Wars and the ensuing conflicts caused pain and suffering to members of all three communities.  NSC therefore, believes that any solution must address the concerns of the Sinhala, Tamil and the Muslim people alike.  NSC emphasizes that there are two distinctly disadvantaged communities which require the attention of the government, the Tamil political leadership and the International Community. They are the Sinhalese and Muslim IDPs. In the case of the Tamil IDPs hitherto it was observable that the Tamil bureaucracy and the Tamil politicians are accommodative of them being their communal stakeholders and being de facto on the ground directing events. Apart from this, the pull factors of the sense of Tamil affinity, homogeneity and communal security are enabling Tamil IDPs to mobilize at site even without basic infrastructure. Whereas the other communities are concerned, they are not. In the case of the Sinhalese and Muslims, lack of affinity, homogeneity, security and lack of social infrastructure are barriers and corporation of the Tamil bureaucracy in the government administration are much desired to expedite the settlement process. Therefore they are disadvantaged in the process. It is here, that the onus of guaranteeing and protecting the interests of such disadvantaged lies on the government, the International Community and the Tamil political leadership to ensure that barriers to effective resettlement of the Sinhalese and the Muslims are removed and all communities are permitted to resettle peacefully to restart their life.

The NSC urge the Government, the Tamil political leadership and the International Community to remove all barriers to resettlement of all the IDPs without any discrimination of Old and New IDPs. We urge the citizens and especially the Muslim community to extend fullest support to the government and all those who are involved in working towards solutions to our national problem of resettling the IDPs.

We urge the Muslim community to mobilize all the community institutions, Mosques and Muslim NGOs to advice and motivate IDPs to resettle, allay their fears and give logistical supports to them, update them with factual ground information and urge them to resettle in their original places of domicile.

We urge the bureaucrats and politicians to support and coordinate with the government agencies to help effective resettlement of IDP within the shortest possible time and to identify barriers and inform relevant authorities to take remedial actions to remove such barriers.

We urge the philanthropists and well-wishers to support and sponsor at least a single family to help them resettle with comfort and safety.

We urge the Business community and other institutions to take business ventures, community facilities and developments to the under privileged areas where resettlement are being undertaken.

We wish inshallah, 2016 will find solution to the problems of the IDPs.  We wish that every citizen in this country will support rebuilding the nation.  We fervently look forward for the Government, the Opposition and the political leadership to give astute leadership to help rebuild the nation creating a better future to all.

Al Mashoora 6 Resettle Eng

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