Colombo: A year after the defeat of the LTTE, Sinhalese families chased away by the Tamil rebels from their homes almost 25 years ago are to be resettled, the Sri Lankan government has said.
The Resettlement Ministry will resettle 80 Sinhalese families who were driven from their homes in Madhu area of Mannar district in north-west Sri Lanka by the LTTE on August
17,1985, Christian and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Milroy Fernando has said.
The minister`s statement came late last week during the inauguration of a new Divisional Secretariat to bring back civil administration to Madhu.
The families had been living opposite the Madhu Road Railway station over a long period of time and were providing services to Roman Catholic pilgrims.
Many of them were from Southern Sri Lanka who were visiting the Madhu Shrine during the church feast.
The LTTE had chased these families away from there, the a newspaper quoted Fernando as saying.
These Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had met Milroy Fernando, former Rehabilitation Minister and present Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and Northern Province Governor GA Chandrasiri in this regard.
They also held meetings with District Secretary Mannar, the chief incumbent monk of a temple in the area and representatives of the INGO Caritas to discuss the resettlement programme.
Caritas Sri Lanka, affiliated to Caritas Internationalis - a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations present in 200 countries, has agreed to build houses for all 80 families, the newspaper reported today.
Efforts are also on to rebuild a school damaged in an earlier LTTE attack in Madhu, the newspaper said, adding that the Tigers had removed the roof of the school building.
The roof has now been temporarily covered with tarpaulins and 50 bicycles were gifted to families of the affected children to travel to school, the Minister was quoted as saying.
Minister Fernando and other officials also visited Manthai, one of the first areas in Mannar District where the resettlement program was implemented, to inspect the resettled IDPs, the newspaper said.