Remaining 136, 328 IDPs to be out by Dec 1
Posted on November 21st, 2009

Sri Lanka News

Chairman of the President’s Task Force for Rehabilitation and Resettlement Basil Rajapaksa announced that the government has decided to allow the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) to move freely now to become free civilians after the eradication of Tamil Tiger rebels.

The total number of IDPs remaining in the welfare centres in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and the hospitals have come down to 136, 328 as of today, stated Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press briefing today (20 Nov).

“We have decided to allow freedom of movement to these people from Dec. 1, ” Rajapakse told reporters at the Menik Farm refugee camp in Vavuniya.

“They are free to move in and out of the camps and could even go home if they wished,” Rajapakse added.

This arrangement would be in place until the government resettled all by its targeted date of Jan. 31, 2010.

The Minister said there has been an IDP movement of 6500 to 7000 within a week as the total number of IDPs a week ago (as of 13 Nov 09) was 143161.

The total number of IDPs remaining in Vavuniya alone is down to 127, 495 which is a drop of over 5200 from last week.

The government’s speedy resettlement process was commended by international bodies including Sir John Holmes, United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Minister Samarasinghe said that Holmes categorically stated his appreciation which was the first time that the UN said thus using those words.

The Minister expressed his confidence in resettling a bulk of the IDPs by 31 January, 2010.

Meanwhile, on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Senior Advisor to the President and Chief of the Presidential Special Task Force on Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the North, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, MP will be visiting resettled areas to meet resettled IDPs in the North tomorrow (21).

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