‘Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka to be resettled by Jan 2010’
Last Updated: Saturday, October 31, 2009, 14:43
Colombo: Sri Lankan government hopes to resettle majority of war displaced Tamils by January next year, a senior minister has assured amidst rising pressure from the US and other Western nations to send the Tamils home.

"The government has consistently maintained that Internally Displaced Persons will be screened and released in a structured and well managed manner," Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

"We are hopeful of achieving our target of resettling a majority of IDPs by 31 January next year," he said.

Currently, tens of thousands of war displaced Tamils are languishing in special refugee camps and Washington, EU and human rights groups have called for their speedy repatriation back to their home.

"Having overcome the threat of terrorism and achieving military mastery over a ruthless organisation which has blighted our national life for nearly three decades, we have a unique opportunity to forge a new Sri Lanka in which all citizens' human dignity is fully safeguarded," he said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said of the total number of IDPs in the north numbering 2.85 lakh, nearly one lakh people have been sent back home.

Bathiudeen said one of main constraints in resettling the IDPs in their hometowns or villages was the time taken to clear the land mines in those areas.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009, 14:43

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