Lanka sets free Tamil refugees

Efforts will be made to resettle displaced by Jan 31



Nearly 7,000 people out of the 1.28 lakh refugees in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Vavuniya, located 260 km north of Colombo, were allowed to leave the welfare villages to meet their relatives after they expressed their wish to see their near and dear ones and got registered with the authorities for the purpose.
Civilians, who have taken shelters in welfare villages, are now free to leave without any conditions, according to authorities. There will be no restrictions imposed on the duration of their absence from the villages from Tuesday, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Risath Bathiyutheen, said on Monday.

The government has declared that civilians will be free to leave the villages once they have given their personal details to the authorities concerned.
A majority of the displaced in the welfare villages have already been resettled.
The government has said all efforts would be made to resettle all displaced people by January 31. All civilians of the Vavuniya welfare village from Jaffna Peninsula and Eastern Province have already been resettled, an official statement said.

Settlement plans
Meanwhile, authorities have decided to resettle many people in the war-ravaged Mullaittivu besides Vavuniya.

More than 10,000 IDPs would be resettled in Thunukkai, Poonagari and Mallavi areas in Mullatittivu district and another 18,000 IDPs in Vavuniya North within the next few days, Northern Province Governor G A Chandrasiri said on Monday.
Each resettled family is being given 12 to 18 roofing sheets, 10 bags of cement, material to build fences around their houses, kitchen utensils and dry rations for six months apart from other essentials, Chandrasiri said.

A financial assistance of Sri Lankan Rs 50,000 to build partly damaged houses and Rs 3.5 lakh to rebuild a fully damaged house is also being extended, the state-run ‘Daily News’ quoted Chandrasiri as saying.

Each resettled village is also being provided with three-wheelers for emergencies like visiting hospitals.
The officers of the Northern Provincial Council numbering 146 were on Monday provided with bicycles  to visit the villages and work among the IDPs to sort out their problems.

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