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* Resettlement of Sri Lanka IDPs expedited
Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 07:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 27, Colombo: Sri Lankan government has expedited the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Civilians (IDPs) living in the welfare camps in order to bring normalcy to the war battered region.

A majority of the 280,000 displaced have now been settled in Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy districts.

According to the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry, 193, 607 have been resettled and the remaining 76,205 IDPs are housed in the six welfare villages in the Menik Farm area of Vavuniya. Some 29,000 IDPs have gone out with permission according to the military.

After the government granted freedom of movement on December 1 last year an increasing number of displaced, mostly young people and women leave the resettlement areas to find work and avail themselves of education services in other districts, a recently released United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Humanitarian Update said.

Secretary to the Ministry U. L. M. Haldeen said more than 23,000 leave the welfare villages daily for work and personal reasons and they are given transport facilities.

The government plans to resettle the remaining civilians who are original settlers of areas where demining is still continuing as soon as their home areas are cleared.

According to the military sides of the A9, B69, B35 routes in Mullaitivu and Mannar districts, Kokavil, Kilinochchi, and Muhamalai to Paranthan have been cleared. Seven NGO's are participating in the demining process and over 1000 Army engineers have been deployed in the demining operation.

Each resettled family receives six months of dry rations from World Food programme, 25,000 rupees, cooking utensils and corrugated sheets for roof.

The government is planning to restart some major industrial plants in the Northern region that have been shut down for three decades due to the war in order to provide livelihoods to the resettled civilians and uplift the economy in the region.

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