11/06/2012, 00.00
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Mullikulam refugees appeal to Card Ranjith to help them go home

by Melani Manel Perera
The cardinal is set to visit 212 families from Mullikulam who are living in the jungle. Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa will accompany him.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Refugees from Mullikulam (Mannar District) are hopeful and confident that the Archbishop of Colombo Card Malcolm Ranjith and Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa will help with their resettlement when they visit their Internally Displaced People camp. Expelled from their native village in 2007, the 212 Tamil Catholic families were relocated in Marichchikattu Jungle.

"The cardinal is a great pillar of the Church," people told AsiaNews. "He can understand our pain. Since 2007, we have been without food, shelter or work."

The people of Mullikulam want to go back to their homes, which are still legally their property. "Even if they let us build elsewhere, we would refuse. We want to go back to our land."

Since the start of the rainy season, life in the jungle has been even more difficult than usual. "Half of the families left for fear that the floods would sweep away their ramshackle huts."

"If we could go home, we wouldn't have to wait for other people to bring us food and clothing. We want to earn our living, feed our children, and get back to a normal life," they said. "Instead, we are stuck here to suffer."


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