India sends 500 soldiers to demine to hasten up resettlements (India/Sri Lanka)


AS INDIA PROMISES TO SEND 500 SOLDIERS FOR DEMINING IN SRILANKA PRESIDENT TELLS BAN KI MOON IDP RESETTLEMENT WILL BE DONE SOON


(20.07.2009)

As India promised to send 500 soldiers trained in demining, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon that Sri Lanka will be resettling its internal refugee population as soon as possible. The refugees were displaced during the country's war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil-Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers).

President Rajapaksa met the Secretary General at the Non-Aligned Summit in Egypt, and in one of several bilateral discussions with leaders during the NAM summit, detailed the condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) interned in state-run welfare centers.

The Sri Lankan IDPs cannot be resettled before thousands of landmines the Tamil Tigers buried are cleared. The Tigers buried the mines not only to slow the Sri Lankan troops marching towards the LTTE capital, but also to stop the civilians they were rounding up from escaping to government-controlled areas. The LTTE was using Tamil civilians as human cover.

Sri Lanka's first ever Chief of Defense Staff, General Sarath Fonseka, has announced that India will send 500 soldiers to Sri Lanka for demining. Although no date had been announced for the arrival of the soldiers, it is expected to happen soon as the government gives priority to the IDP resettlement program. The government is installing new electricity distribution centers in Mulaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts, the former strongholds of the Tamil Tigers, and constructing new roads.

Informed sources said that President Rajapaksa thanked the Secretary General for providing all the aid to care for the IDPs.

The Secretary General thanked the Sri Lankan government for the cooperation they exhibited in providing aid to the internally displaced and expressed delight with the trust the government has placed in an all-party conference for a reasonable solution for the Tamil problem. (EOM)

Von: http://tothecenter.com/news.php?readmore=10522, 17.07.2009

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