Resettlement in record time
Over 40,000 resettled in 44 days, says Senior
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, MP:
Addressing a public meeting at the Vavuniya Urban Council grounds
yesterday on the occasion of sending off several thousand Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their original places of residence,
Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP appealed to them to set
aside ethnic and religious differences and rally round President Mahinda
Rajapaksa to bring peace and prosperity to the country. Once the heroic
Security Forces liberated the country what was uppermost in the mind of
President Rajapaksa was to provide you with all possible facilities and
resettle you in your original places of residence, he added.
In most countries, the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)
had taken decades and in some cases even a century but President Mahinda
Rajapaksa had initiated the resettlement of IDPs in a 180 day program
and three batches with over 4,000 being resettled in the North and East
on Wednesday, Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP said.
He said it had taken the Palestine 70 years and Bangladesh and
Pakistan more than a decade to resettle some of their IDPs while in
Europe some IDPs were resettled after a century.
President Rajapaksa resettled 40,000 IDPs in 44 days in the East and
had directed the rehabilitation and resettlement program immediately
after the LTTE terrorism and any delay so far was due to land-mine
clearing operations, he said.
This is not only a Sri Lankan but also a world record, he added.
The President had ordered the Task Force to resettle the IDPs in 35
villages in Vavuniya, in 45 villages in Kilinochchi and in 24 villages
in Jaffna, the Senior Presidential Advisor said.
President Rajapaksa wanted to have peace, amity and prosperity among
all people and he had told the IDPs and the people of the North and East
that the Government would give back all they had lost during the past 30
years other than the lives lost. “We would like to request the people of
the north and east not to be deceived again as the President’s policy
was reconciliation while doing everything possible for the IDPs,” he
From To Number
Vavuniya Jaffna 52
Jaffna Vavuniya/EP 652
“Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at one time went round the
world asking other countries and lending agencies not to assist Sri
Lanka and now he was trying to stop the aid being received for
resettlement and rehabilitation of the IDPs in the North and East. Some
Tamil politicians were spreading rumours and I would like to ask them to
stop spreading hatred among the people but to cooperate to bring in
peace and amity,” Rajapaksa MP said.
Yesterday, 964 people of 387 families from the Menik Farm IDP village
were sent for resettlement in Kantale, Trincomalee, Ampara and
Batticaloa areas while 3,000 people were sent for resettlement in their
villages in the Jaffna district also from temporary shelters in Vavuniya.
The IDPs were dispatched in 70 SLTB buses with dry rations, clothing
and other utility material. Parliamentarian Rajapaksa thanked the
members of the Armed Forces and public servants of the north for their
dedication and efficiency in expediting the process of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation and Disaster Relief Minister Rishard Bathiudeen
requested the people of the north and east not to be deceived by the
terrorists again as some elements were attempting to make political
mileage out of the people’s problems.
“Today even some of those who were leaders in the LTTE had joined the
political mainstream and the President was doing everything possible to
give assistance to all communities to achieve peace and amity with
District Secretary Ms.Charles, officers of the Armed Forces and
Government agencies were also present.