Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development participated in the ceremony to welcome the first group of Sri Lankan refugees who returned to Sri Lanka by ferry from India today, October 12, at the Colombo port. The refugees' returns are part of a voluntary, facilitated repatriation programme, supported by the governments of India and Sri Lanka. This occasion has been coordinated by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ministry of Resettlement. Hon. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Deputy Minister of Resettlement, Mr. Michael Zwack, Representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sri Lanka and Ms. Jennifer Pagonis, the UNHCR Deputy Representative in Sri Lanka, also participated at this occasion.