Tsunami hit Southern Muslims allege discrimination in relief

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 February 2005, 18:11 GMT]
Officials of the Hambantota Dharma Kabir Mosque administration told a group of Jaffna journalists last weekend that more Muslim civilians had died in tsunami and the figures disclosed by the Sri Lanka government authorities are not reflecting the actual deaths of Muslims in the Hambantota district. A twenty-member team of Jaffna journalists visited Hambantota as a goodwill gesture to see the sufferings of the tsunami affected Muslim people in the south, sources said.

"The SriLanka overnment has said about 596 Muslims had died and 442 were reported missing in tsunami disaster in Hambantota district. But we feel more Muslims had died and missing here. We receive daily complaints regarding missing persons," said an official of the mosque federation.

About eleven thousand Muslim families are living in the Hambantota district and eighty percent of them are engaged in fishing. 199 families including three Sinhalese families are given temporary shelter in the land adjoining the Dharma Kabir Mosque with the assistance of several international volunteer organizations, mosque officials said.

"Two months have passed since the tsunami struck the coastal areas of the southern province. But till now we received 3,500 kg of rice and 1,150 kg of sugar and nothing else," said Mr.S.M.Munasdeen, a tsunami victim in a temporary shelter.

Only fifty percent of the displaced due to tsunami have been provided with dry rations through stamps and that was too only for three weeks, said a refugee.

Basic facilities have not been provided to tsunami victims sheltered in tents, mosque officials said.


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