Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks that he will file a petition in the Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal regarding the deforestation of the sanctuary adjacent to the Wilpattu National Park.
He said this while testifying before the Commission through Skype technology from the Magazine Prison on Saturday.
It was special that MP Bathuideen expressed this view in front of the panel of judges of the PCoI who pronounced the verdict in the Wilpattu case.
Commissioner of the PCoI raised a question that “You have been the Minister of IDP resettlement for some time, how many Sinhala IDPs have been resettled?”
Responding to that MP Bathiudeen said that “More than 200,000 Tamils were resettled in the Eastern Province. Businessmen including Sinhala Bakery owners were resettled. There were 2% Sinhalese and 5% were Muslims in the Northern Province.The majority of Sinhalese left those areas during the time of LTTE. Nearly 100,000 Muslims were expelled. They were resettled at the end of the war in 2009. It was done under the supervision of founder of the SLPP Basil Rajapaksa. I was not the Minister for Resettlement of Displaced Persons when 100,000 Muslims are resettled. As the Chairman of the District Committee of the Vanni District, I gave my fullest support to it.
The largest villages Kalabogaswewa, Namalgama were built by cutting down 75 to 100-year-old trees and about 5,000 former Sinhalese people of Moneragala and Hambantota areas were resettled per acre. No one filed a petition against it. Houses have been built for the people of a Sinhala village called Vijaya Village in Kallaruwala. Tamils who were in favour of Douglas Devananda, who were chased away by the LTTE, have also been resettled. The trees in Kallaruwa have not been cut down or resettled.We are going back to the Supreme Court for that case”
(Source: Daily News – By Subhashini Senanayake and Dilshan Tharaka)