Sunday, February 18, 2018 04:47:24 PM

The Struggles of the Muslims of Musali

By Hilmy Ahamed - Sun Apr 09, 12:09 am

Featured image courtesy Tamil Guardian

The Gazette Notification issued on the 24th of March 2017 declared four forest areas North of the Wilpattu sanctuary as reserves, preventing Muslim Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from returning to their homes in Musali after languishing in makeshift camps for over 25 years. President Maithripala Sirisena’s hurriedly signed controversial gazette on Wilpattu, inked at the Sri Lankan Embassy in cold Moscow while on an official tour, has generated so much heat that the President is claiming a conspiracy against him. He also claims that it is intended to mislead the Muslims. What was the urgency  to sign such a gazette while on a brief tour overseas?

Environmentalists continue to protest the caging of animals in zoos, but now they want to cage Muslim IDPs. Do not fail to understand that all these returning IDPs are paddy farmers or Chena cultivators who had legitimate rights to use these lands before the controversial political declaration of forest reserves in the Northern Province in 2012. This declaration was done by the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration to prevent the jurisdiction over these lands by the Northern Provincial Council. All forest, wildlife and Mahaweli lands come under the jurisdiction of the central Government….

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