KARUNANIDHI SAYS SRI LANKA HAS ASSURED HIS DELEGATION OF MPS THAT 58,000 IDPS WILL BE RESETTLED FROM THURSDAY
Posted on October 14th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Delegation of MP with Karunanidhi

Tami Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said at a press conference in Chennai that the Sri Lanka government has assured the ten MP’s who visited Sri Lanka that another 58,000 Sri Lankan Tamils who are staying in state run camps will be taken back to their homes to be resettled.

Speaking to reporters after being briefed by the delegation of DMK, Congress and VCK parties Karunanidhi said that the Tamil Nadu state will urge the Indian government to grant more help to the Sri Lankan government to complete the demining of the areas so that the remaining Tamil refugees who are in the camps could be resettled quicker.

Karunanidhi was quoted having said, “There are 253,000 Tamils living in the camps and they will be sent back to their original places in phases “”…” that is the assurance the MPs team got from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

He told reporters that according to the Sri Lanka government the resettlement could be done only in phases and all cannot be resettled in one go. The 58,000 batch will start going back on Thursday and the resettlement will finish in 15 days, Karunanidhi said. He expressed satisfaction on the response shown to the delegation of MP’s by the Sri Lanka government.

Earlier, the Chief Minister received the delegation led T.R.Balu who returned after a five day fact finding tour of the Sri Lankan camps and up country plantation areas.

Karunanidhi was further quoted having said, “There are 253,000 Tamils living in the camps and they will be sent back to their original places in phases “”…” that is the assurance the MPs team got from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa,”

Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi told reporters that theirs was not a guided tour. “There were no restrictions on us about the places to be visited and not to be visited,” she said.

Karunanidhi further said that the delegation has submitted elaborate reports of alleged assaults by the Sri Lanka Navy on Tamil Nadu fishermen and Colombo has assured such incidents would not recur.

The Hindu newspaper said, “In a statement, the Chief Minister said efforts were being made for the welfare of Tamils and cited Mr. Rajapaksa’s assurance to the MPs that a settlement, acceptable to all sections. would be found.”

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