With the resettlement of the last group of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Northern region’s Mullaitivu district the Menik Farm in Vavuniya would be closed today, a top military official said yesterday.
“A total of 1,186 people from 361 families --the last of a group of more than300,000 displaced during the war in the north -- will leave theVavuniya Manik Farm to their original places of residence in the Mullaitivu district today,” Security Forces Commander Boniface Perera, who is the Competent Authority for IDPs in the northern region told Daily Mirror. “There will be no more IDPs in the country from today.”
Maj.Gen.Perera said on a directive of President MahindaRajapaksa and Defence Secretary GotabayaRajapaksa the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters and the Mullaitivu Security Forces Headquarters had speeded up the process to resettle the displaced people.
“The resettlement in the northern region was delayed because of de-mining in these areas. We have to make sure that there are no remnants of any land mines in these areas, because civilian safety is important for the government,” he said.
The army will assist government agents and foreign and local NGOs for the smooth transfer of displaced people from Vavuniya to the Mullaitivu district, mostly in the Putthukuduirippu area.
Maj. Gen Perera said some of the families would resettle in their original places of residence while others would resettle on new lands given by the government.
“All though the government has met their needs, the Army will continue to assist the returnees to build their houses or repair them and also to improve their livelihood,” he said.(Sunil Jayasiri)