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Government now says no deadline to resettle IDPs

2009-12-29 09:01:40
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By Olindhi Jayasundara

The government, despite earlier giving a pledge to resettle al the displaced people by the end of next month, now says there is no deadline for the resettlement of the Internally Displaced People (IDP) who are in camps in Vavuniya.

“We did not promise to complete the resettling process on a particular date. However, the Government is working hard towards completing the process as soon as possible,” Minister for Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Minister Samarasinghe said that 100,000 IDPs still remain in the camps whilst 20,000 have been granted freedom of movement from the camps. The Minister said that the Government has organized ‘go and see visits’ for the IDPs to enable them to visit their homes and allow them to decide if they wish to remain in their home towns or otherwise.

“If they want to return to their homes, then they may. However, if they wish otherwise we will make other arrangement for them,” he said.

Minister Samarasinghe said that he could not comment on what would happen to the camps once all the IDPs are resettled in their homes, but said that the permanent structures once vacant will most likely be utilized for some purpose.

A Sri Lankan delegation had, earlier this month, assured India that it would resettle all internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Tamil origin by the end of January. The three-member delegation consisted of Senior Adviser to the President, Basil Rajapaksa; Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.


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