15,000 Vakarai IDPs to be resettled next week (Sri Lanka)
The government said yesterday it was planning to resettle more than 15 000 internally displaced people in Vakarai by next week. Consequent on the sudden influx of more than 131,000 displaced people to some 92 camps in Batticaloa, the government has decided to step up the resettlement programme for those who had fled Vakarai, to create space in the overcrowded camps.
According to the resettlement director general, M.A.C. Mohideen, nearly 3,000 displaced families have already been resettled in Vakarai and an equal number are due to be resettled soon.
The Batticaloa GA, assisted by the army and several NGOs, is coordinating the resettlement programme. The resettled families are being given packs of dry rations for two weeks, and the government has pledged its continued support until livelihood and infrastructure development are completed in the area.
"An unknown number of landmines remain buried in the area, thus hampering resettlement efforts. Four Grama Seva Divisions, including Madarankernikulam, Kiriyamichcha and Pannichchankerni are still to be cleared of landmines. As a result 892 families are still languishing in IDP camps," Mr. Mohideen said.
He said the resettlement process was successful and people were returning to Vakarai of their own volition and had even moved to Mankerni Central, though it is not under army control.
Meanwhile, more than 3000 people have been resettled in Muttur over the past week.
Von: 22.03.2007 www.dailymirror.lk By Uditha Jayasinghe