Sri Lanka resettlement programme a success: Minister
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 15:39
Colombo: Sri Lanka's post-war programme of rehabilitating thousands of displaced people in the north has crossed its targeted goal of 76,000 families and has been largely successful, a senior minister has claimed.

Basil Rajapaksa, the minister of economic development said out of the near 300,000 internally displaced people housed in camps at the end of the war in 2009, only 12,000 now remain there.

"The government has resettled 92,000 families over and above the estimated 76,000 families", Rajapaksa told reporters.

Explaining the increase in the number of people, Rajapaksa said the returnees from Colombo and overseas, including those who went to India as refugees, had swelled the numbers.

"More people have come back with deeds and other related documents of their properties", Rajapaksa said.

Civilians began crossing in to government territory from the Wanni district, which the LTTE controlled prior to 2006 when the military operations began.

He said most of those still in refugee camps were coming from the former LTTE nerve centre of Puthukudyiruppu (PTK).

"Demining of PTK has become slow due to the presence of vast numbers of mines," he said.

Rajapaksa said in the east, the other conflict-torn area, the resettlement programmes have run smoothly with 300,000 being resettled.


First Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 15:39

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