Muslim IDPs yet to be resettled

The delegation, led by the UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka Abdulaziz Bin Abdurrahman Al-Jammaz, consisted of the envoys to Sri Lanka from Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia. “However, the protracted IDPs expelled in 1990s are yet to be resettled. The process in this regard is taking place as per the government promise,” he added. (Colombo Gazette) Several Muslims expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in a systematic and organized manner during a two week period in 1990 are yet to be resettled, the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.He said this when a delegation consisting of seven Ambassadors to Sri Lanka and a First Secretary witnessed the plight of Muslim IDP settlements in the Mannar region, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement today. The delegation visited Muslim IDP resettlements in the Talaimannar Pier area, the Museli division, and the Marichikatti divisions. They were temporarily sheltered in Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, and Colombo. According to the Report, around 14,000 Muslim families had returned to Mannar in 2011 and 2,455 to Mullaithivu.However he noted that due to landlessness, the original land becoming jungles, non-availability of infrastructure facilities and lack of assistance from the donor communities they couldn’t resettle themselves fully in their places of origin.The displaced during the height of war and later were accommodated at Menik Farm while the new IDPs from the war were all resettled. “They witnessed the plight of these helpless IDPs first-hand and lent a sympathetic ear to their issues,” the Ministry said.Minister Bathiudeen told the delegation that according to para 5.137 of  the LLRC Report, 75000 families were expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in a systematic and organized manner during a two week period in 1990. read more

UN agency gives homes to Palestinians whose houses were destroyed by Israel

The new shelters, which will house 20 families, or 129 refugees, in the Middle Camps area, are the concrete expression of the pledge by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to re-house all those refugees whose homes had been destroyed in the strife and who have no alternative accommodation.By 31 May, a total of 1,134 shelters, home to more than 10,049 refugee and non-refugee Palestinians, had been destroyed or damaged beyond repair in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict in September 2000, according to UNRWA figures.The agency has already provided homeless families waiting for their new homes with emergency assistance in the form of tents, blankets, mats, kitchen utensils and food parcels. The construction project itself has also served to alleviate some of the hardships felt in the Gaza Strip, where unemployment is exceptionally high, by providing around 10,000 man-days of temporary employment for labourers, builders, and tradesmen.The shelters opened today in Deir El-Balah were funded by donations from the Arab Popular Committee in the Syrian Arab Republic and by non-earmarked contributions to the emergency appeals. The total cost of the project, including infrastructure work, was approximately $455,000. read more