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* UN special rapporteur on IDPs visits Sri Lanka to examine the overall situation of the displaced
Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 10:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 02, Colombo: The special representative of the United Nations in Geneva on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday on a five-day official visit to examine the overall situation of IDPs in the country.

During his visit from 2 to 6 December, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Dr. Chaloka Beyani will meet with representatives from the Sri Lankan government, civil society and the UN, among others.

Special Rapporteur this morning met the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the parliamentary complex. He also met with Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe, Gunarathne Weerakoon and Douglas Devananda.

Dr. Beyani He will also visit various sites of displacement and meet with displaced persons and local authorities.

"I will gather first-hand information from all parties, including displaced persons and affected communities themselves," said Dr. Beyani, who will visit conflict-affected Jaffna and Mullaitivu districts.

"I will also look at the challenges and opportunities for durable solutions for IDPs, while I discuss the progress made with regard to their protection and assistance."

Dr. Beyani will present preliminary observations through a written statement shortly after the end of his mission. His full report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

At the end of the war in May 2009, nearly 300,000 people of the North, mostly Tamils, were displaced and housed in camps. Most of the IDPs have now been resettled although some not being able to return to their original homes for various reasons are still living with their relatives.

According to the Secretary to the Ministry of Resettlement Janaka Sugathadasa 15,355 displaced persons from 4,450 families are living with their relatives and friends.

At the end of September, Sri Lanka in overall, has resettled 256,868 people of 72,941 in the Eastern Province and 500,157 people from 151,280 families in the Northern Province. These figures include the Muslims who were forcibly evicted from the Northern Province by the LTTE in the 1990's.

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