Expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna by LTTE

Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern province by LTTE

The expulsion of the Muslims from the Northern province was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Tamil militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization in October 1990. In order to achieve their goal of creating a mono ethnic Tamil state in the North Sri Lanka , the LTTE forcibly expelled the Muslim population from the Northern Province numbering 75, 000. The LTTE later apologized (during the 2000 peace talks) for this act and asked the Muslims to return back, however very few Muslims have actually taken up the offer.

Background

With the creation of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress on the 21st of September 1981, the idea of the Muslim people of Sri Lanka being separate from the Tamils, was being reinforced. Due to this, they felt that if the goal of Tamil Eelam was reached, they would be a "minority, in a minority state", and the SLMC were strongly opposed to the idea of Tamil Eelam. The situation was further aggravated with the creation of the Muslim Home Guard, by the Sri Lankan Government, leading to violent clashes and incidents taking place between the two communities. Tensions between the Tamils and Muslims were at an all time high, with the UTHR reporting that "It became an unspoken cliché that Muslims were traitors."

Expulsion

The first expulsion was in Chavakacheri, of 1,500 people. After this, Muslims in Kilinochchi and Mannar were ethnically cleansed forcing many to leave their homeland. The turn of Jaffna came on October 30, 1987; when LTTE trucks drove through the streets ordering Muslim families to assemble at Osmania College. There, they were told to exit the city within two hours. The entire muslim population was expelled from Jaffna. According to a 1981 census (the last official count), the total Muslim population in Jaffna was 14,844 . They could take with them only the clothes they were wearing and no more than 50 rupees in cash. Their houses were subsequently looted by the LTTE .

Most of the Muslims were resettled in Puttalam district, though the Jaffna Muslim refugees can be found in other parts of Sri Lanka as well.

Aftermath

The expulsion still carries bitter memories amongst Sri Lanka's Muslims. In 2002, the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran had formally apologized for the expulsion of Muslims from the North. There has been a stream of Muslims travelling to and from Jaffna after the ceasefire. Some families have returned and the re-opened Osmaniya College now has 60 students on roll. Two Mosques are functioning again. According to a Jaffna Muslim source there is a floating population of about 2000 Muslims in Jaffna at any given time. Around 1500 are Jaffna Muslims while the rest are Muslim traders from other areas. About 10 Muslim shops are functioning and the numbers have thought to have grown.

See also

References

External links

Search another word or see Expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna by LTTEon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature