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
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.