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Kelly outraged as Kunjumons are forced to leave

21 December, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Gerry Kelly, has spoken of his outrage that the Kunjumon family have finally been forced to leave the New Lodge district.

Speaking today, after a further attack on the family home at the weekend, Mr Kelly said:
“I am outraged that the Kunjumon family have been left with no alternative but to leave their family home in the New Lodge.

“Unfortunately, a small minority have constantly targeted the family, and indeed their neighbours when they came out to support them, in what can only be described as a series of racially motivated attacks.

“The local community, elected representatives, neighbours and everyone else has stood shoulder to shoulder against these attacks and the dangerous, racist actions of a few. On Saturday I attended a very special Christmas' event in North Belfast celebrating the Indian community which typifies all that is positive about inclusion and integration, and which showed in the strongest most positive terms how welcome the Indian Community are and the massive contribution they make in key areas such as the health service.

“However, the Kunjumons leaving does not end the predicament that this family finds themselves in. The will still have a mortgage and will be having to pay rent on alternative accommodation which will undoubtedly place massive financial hardship on the family.

“It is very clear that they are victims here after five years of attacks on their home. They have had little quality of life and have not had the right that we all take for grated, to feel safe in ones own home.

“The PSNI Chief Constable must sign the certificate that will allow the family to be included in the SPED scheme. What needs to happen to this family before this happens the PSNI believe the qualify for the scheme? To state that this is simply anti social behaviour is wholly unacceptable.

“I have written to the Chief Constable, Matt Baggot and the members of the Policing Board outlining our serious concerns on this case. The PSNI now need to come out publically and explain why it is possible to issue these certificates for some and not for others.

“Further to this those responsible need to be arrested and placed in front of the court’s. Anyone with information should pass it on immediately. This behaviour cannot be allowed to destroy a community. ”

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