Resettlement reaches final stage
Posted on June 23rd, 2012

Ridma DISSANAYAKE Courtesy The Daily News

The resettlement programme launched by the government with the end of the humanitarian mission in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is at its final stage. There are only 6,034 persons remaining in welfare villages, Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said yesterday.

Brigadier Wanigasooriya said the Resettlement Ministry with the assistance of Security Forces and the Police resettled over 135,000 out of 290,000 persons displaced by LTTE attacks within five months, beginning August 2009.

“The government resettled around 100,000 and 12,000 persons in 2010 and 2011. In addition, 10,620 persons in Jaffna IDP camps were resettled during the last three years. Arrangements are in place to complete the resettlement programme by end 2012. Already 625 persons have been resettled this year,” he said.

Around 24,000 displaced islandwide have resettled with their relatives, the Brigadier said.

He said the remaining 6,034 are to be resettled in Vanni, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Pudukudirippu, Wellamulla and Waikkal areas.

Statistics reveal the government has resettled around 260,000 persons.

Arrangements have been made to resettle the 6,034 in the above areas after the clearance of landmines.

The Army identified 1,938 square kilometres with landmines, where they began clearing in 2009, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said. Mine clearing activities have been completed in 1,816 square kilometres. Only 122 square kilometres are left for clearing.

According to the Economic Development Ministry’s Mine Action director Monty Rathnayake, the government spent Rs 8,884 million for landmine clearing in the past three years.

The Army conducted clearing activities in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura along with the Economic Development Ministry and several NGOs.

They detected around 840,000 landmines and other explosives from war affected areas and destroyed the explosives, the Brigadier said.

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