Dr. Farzana Haniffa, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo describes at length the Citizen’s Commission to investigate they expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in October 1990. Vital background reading in this regard is Dr. Devanesan Nesiah’s recent submission to Groundviews on the workings and raison d’Ãªtre of this commission. As Dr. Nesiah notes,
The task of reversing ethnic cleansing is difficult but necessary. As I see it, the main task of this Commission is to push for and facilitate the resettlement of displaced Muslims back in the locations from which they were evicted. The displaced population needs to be motivated and helped to return. The conditions, facilities and inducements must therefore be attractive and the obstacles to return must be minimized. Particular attention needs to be paid to promote acceptance of the return on the part of the local communities among whom the returnees will resettle.
Dr. Haniffa explores this issue in greater detail, including generational tensions of return amongst the IDP camp populations, gendered concerns and those pertaining to livelihoods as well as inter-ethnic tensions framing return and resettlement.