By Yoshitha Perera
Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal seeking an order to prevent his arrest.
In the petition, he states that as the then Minister of Resettlement, it was brought to his attention that several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who had registered to vote in the Vanni District were unable to secure transport facilities on the day of the Presidential Election, 2019.
The petitioner said that after identifying the above issue he had immediately written to former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking his direction and approval for the ‘Project Management Unit for Resettlement of Protracted IDPs’ operating within the purview of the petitioner’s ministry to facilitate the transportation of the said IDPs through buses belonging to the SLTB. The Petitioner further stated that meanwhile the President of the Northern Displaced Peoples Forum, too had addressed a letter to the then Prime Minister seeking his intervention to obtain 230 buses for the transport of 12,500 Internally Displaced Voters.
The Petitioner states that Internal Displacement of Persons due to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) dominating the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of the country became a phenomenon in Sri Lanka since 1980s.