Nov 21, Colombo: Wanni District Parliamentarian and Leader of ACMC Rishad Bathiudeen says he will file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the recent decision of the Court of Appeal regarding the unauthorized constructions carried out by clearing the Kallaru forest area in the Wilpattu Forest Reserve.
He was responding to a question raised by the Commissioner of the Presidential Commission while testifying online to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday Attack from the Welikada New Magazine Prison, where he is currently being remanded over an unrelated charge.
The member Commissioner of the Presidential Commission asked the MP Bathiudeen how many Sinhalese people have been resettled in the North and East who were displaced by the war when he was the Minister in charge of the resettlement of IDPs.
Responding to this, the MP said, "There are only 2% Sinhalese and 5% Muslims in the Northern Province. The LTTE expelled about 100,000 Muslims from their villages during the war. The resettlement process began in 2009 under the patronage of the then Minister Basil Rajapaksa. I was not the Minister in charge of the subject at the time, but I supported the program.
“At that time also trees were felled during settlements. But no one complained against Eve. Everyone is talking about cutting down Wilpattu trees. There really was no felling trees. We are going to the Supreme Court against the verdict,” he said.
However, it is noteworthy that the two judges of the Court of Appeal who gave the recent verdict in the Wilpattu case were sitting in the Presidential Commission to Investigate the Easter attack as the Chairman and a member of the Commission when MP Bathiudeen was expressing his views.