Muslims hand in their guns in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Muslims - residing in the northern and eastern provinces - found themselves constantly under threat of attacks by the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers ethnically cleansed the north and east of Sri Lanka of it's Muslims in order to create a Tamil only homeland called EELAM.

The LTTE is also blamed for ethnically cleansing Jaffna, when they asked all non-Tamils to leave the de facto Tamil state in 1990.

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Islam, however, is not being practised presently, as the Muslims have been asked to leave the Tamil Eelam territory until the Independence of Tamil Eelam. The Muslims supported the aggressive Sri Lankan Sinhala and Muslim Military against the freedom of Tamil Eelam.

The Muslims of the north and east were massacred to create Prabhakaran's Tamil Eelam. Close to 100,000 Muslims who were driven away from their homes still reside in camps for the displaced in Puttalam. They have been in these camps for over 10 years.

Muslim students in Kalmunai. Photo by springm / Markus Spring under the Creative Commons license.

Due to the incessant threats to their lives the Muslims of the eastern province took up arms.

B. Muralidhar Reddy of the Hindu reports that a recent call to surrender all illegal weapons has been somewhat successful. The deadline for the amnesty has been extended in hopes of retrieving these weapons with the minimal use of force.

The Hindu
The military said the illegal weapons were handed over through the Association of Muslim Mosques in the Eastern Province.

An amnesty given by the police to handover all illegal weapons in Eastern Province ended on Saturday. Receiving the weapons, DIG of eastern province Edison Gunatilake described the event “historic” and called for the surrender of all such weapons.

Minister of Health, Eastern province, M. L. A. M. Hisbullah said he distributed 600 weapons to villagers to be used to defend the Muslims from Tigers.

He said he received them from the late President R.Premadasa and distributed them a day after an incident of massacre in Kathankudi in August 1990. “We never kept these weapons to fight the security forces. We used them to fight against the Tamil Tigers.” The English weekly Lakbima said a joint military operation would be launched to track down arms and ammunition in the hands of the “jihadist groups in the East, after the extended deadline given for the hand over of the weapons lapsed”.
It quoted Mr. Gunathilake as saying the response from the Muslim armed groups to the government’s call to hand over weapons was poor.

The weekly further quoted him as saying aid intelligence reports reveal that jihadist militants’ possess 250 T 56 assault rifles, a fraction of which had been handed on Saturday.

The deadline, which was initially set for July 2 was extended to July 4 on the request of the Muslim community leaders.

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