Former minister Rishard Bathiudeen is set to reach the Supreme Court challenging the Appeal Court verdict on Wilpattu deforestation, as the MP himself acknowledged before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday Attack yesterday (21) via Skype.
Accordingly, Bathiudeen told the Commission that he does not accept the Appeal Court's verdict on the case, in response to the Commissioner.
It was quite noteworthy that the former minister made this revelation before the Bench appointed for the PCoI, as the members of the PCoI Bench also represented the Appeal Court Bench on his hearing.
Commissioner queried Bathiudeen as to how many displaced Sinhalese persons had been resettled in his capacity as the minister of resettlemnt.
The former minister responded: "More than two hundred thousand Tamil people of the East were resettled. Businessmen including Sinhalese Bakery owners were resettled. There were only 02% of Sinhalese in Northern Province; Muslim 05%. Many Sinhalese people left the areas during the LTTE crisis. Nearly a hundred thousand Muslims were banished. They were resettled after the War ended in 2009. This was carried out under the supervision of Mr. Basil Rajapaksa. I was not the resettlement minister when hundred thousand Muslims were resettled. I had extended my maximum support in my capacity as the Committee Chairman of Wanni District. The biggest trees, 75 - 100 years old, in Bogaswewa, Namalgama were cut down and about 5000 Sinhalese people were settled in Moneragala and Hambantota areas per acre. Nobody had petitioned against it. Houses have been built for the people of a Sinhalese village called "Vijaya Village" in Kallaruwala too. No trees were cut down in Kallaruwala, neither were any resettlements made. So, we will be going back to the Supreme Court in this regard."