Number of IDPs in welfare camps dropped drastically: Lanka

Colombo: After a large scale resettlement, the number of conflict-displaced people put up in welfare camps in northern Sri Lanka have dropped considerably to about 1,57,000, compared to about 2,88,000 in June, an official report says.

As of November 4, 2009, there were 1,57,453 IDPs in welfare centres in Sri Lanka, report said.

Additionally, another 60,000 people are slated to go home over the next few weeks, it added.

The majority of the IDPs will be resettled by end of this year, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights said.

The latest phase of resettlements should bring the total IDP population down to about 1,20,000 in the near future, the report said adding, 4,390 persons (1,314 families) have been resettled in the Mullaittivu District, a former LTTE stronghold.

The civilians, most of them residents of northern Sri Lanka, were displaced last spring at the conclusion of the 26-year-long conflict between Lankan security forces and the LTTE.

Those who have been resettled have gone to their native communities in the Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and Mullaithivu districts.

Parts of the north, however, remain uninhabitable due to landmines, contaminated water and a lack of other facilities.

Bureau Report