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Appeals court rejects Bathiudeen call for dismissal of petition against resettlement of Muslims in Mannar

An affidavit by Sri Lankan Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, requesting the dismissal of a petition filed against him on the issue of resettlement of Muslims in the Wilpattu Forest Reserve, was dismissed by Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Friday.

A group filed a petition claiming that Mr Bathiudeen, who was also a minister in the previous regime under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa abused his power to encroach over 700 acres of the Villattikulam Forest Reserve in the Mannar district to resettle displaced Muslims under the pretext that they were reclaimed areas previously occupied by the Muslims before they were evicted by LTTE in 1990.

The petitioners also cited former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and the Director General of the Forest Conservation Department, among several others, as respondents.

The Appeals Court ordered to take up the petition hearing, rejecting the Mr Bathiudeen’s affidavit, Colombo Page reports.

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