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Monday, 15 November 2010

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Govt will resettle Muslims evicted by LTTE - President

Equal treatment for all:

President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Muslims who were forcibly evicted from the North by the LTTE 20 years ago, that the Government would ensure that they are resettled in their places of origin with necessary help to lead happy and prosperous lives.

The President said that the Government would do its utmost to restore their lost belongings. He noted the above addressing the 20th year commemoration meeting of the forcibly evicted Muslims from the Northern Province, held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute auditorium yesterday. The event was organized by the All Ceylon Muslim Congress led by Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiutheen.

Addressing a section of the affected, President Rajapaksa said that the Government policy was to treat all conflict affected equally irrespective of their places of origin, race, religion, time of displacement etc. He noted that specially Non Governmental organizations involved in helping the displaced should keep the above in mind and ensure that equal treatment is meted out to all affected.

The President on the occasion pointed out that over 70,000 had been forcibly evicted by the LTTE from their native villages in the North 20 years ago. He said that in addition to the Muslims there were many Sinhala families as well.

He said that those who were displaced had to long suffer in temporary camps. Justice would be meted out and lost rights would be restored, he added.

Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims were all affected due to LTTE atrocities. We will treat all equally, he said.

The President pointed out to the gathering that people like Rishard Bathiutheen who was one such forcibly evicted person had triumphed in the face of adversity to become a Government Minister. On the other hand some of those who were with the LTTE earlier is now holding high ranking positions in the Government. We should all work together in rebuilding this country, he added.

Ministers A H M Fowzie, Rishard Bathiutheen, Deputy Ministers M L A M Hisbullah, A H M Azwer MP, M Farook MP, Northern Governor Major General G A Chandrasiri, American Ambassador Patricia A Butenis, Indian High Commissioner Shri Ashok K Kantha, UAE Ambassador Mahmood Mohammed Al Mahmood, other representatives from the political and diplomatic community also participated.

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