Colombo: The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has
said it welcomed Sri Lankan government`s decision this week to
allow "increased" freedom of movement for some 135,000
internally displaced people (IDPs) remaining in 20 camps in
the north of the country.
They welfare villages have been now declared as open
camps from December 1.
UNHCR field staff reported that more than 7,000 IDPs from
Menik Farm camps in Vavuniya and another 25 people from the
camp in Trincomalee left their sites on the first day the new
policy came into force, the UNHCR said in a statement
"Our teams are in the process of assessing the number of
IDPs exercising their new freedom of movement over the past
few days and report that people continue to leave the camps,"
said a UNHCR spokesperson.
The registered IDPs who wish to leave the camps are
provided with a pass issued by the local authorities.
These documents include details such as the district of
origin, date of departure and date of return to the camp,
temporary address for those who will remain away overnight and
details of family members, it said.