Sri Lanka spent $ 360m to resettle IDPs

Friday, 9 March 2012 02:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Geneva: The Sri Lankan Government has spent US$ 360 million to resettle the persons internally displaced when the 30-year armed conflict against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in the North and East came to an end in May 2009.

The Government has resettled nearly 98 per cent of the 290,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) housed in welfare centres at the end of May 2009 and only 6,647 IDPs were remaining to be resettled at the end of 2011, the Deputy Solicitor-General of Sri Lanka Shavindra Fernando said at the 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Wednesday.

The remaining IDPs will be resettled once the demining process has been completed, the envoy said.

In addition to the Government’s spending, UN agencies and other donor partners have provided assistance regularly to complement the government’s efforts.

Fernando in his address to the Council told that it was a great satisfaction to the Government that Sri Lanka’s “rapid and orderly” resettlement program has been recognized and commended internationally.

The demining of the former war zones was carried out at a pace comparable with the best efforts anywhere in the world, he pointed out.  The Government has established a dedicated line Ministry to deal with resettlement issues and to ensure the provisions for immediate, medium and long term relief to the displaced.

The Government has taken a firm resolve to ensure that all the people displaced from their lands will be given the opportunity to return their original lands, the envoy further said.

Supporters of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa pray during a religious ceremony to bless the nation and Rajapaksa at a Buddhist temple in Colombo March 8, 2012. The United States has made good on its threat to offer a resolution against Sri Lanka at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva at the current session, seen as a precursor to an international probe.REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte