Articles

No more IDPs in Sri Lanka – a lesson to be learnt by world countries

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially announced the closure of Menik IDP camp on 25th September 2012. This was a land mark victory to the Sri Lankan president & government. The phrases like “Internally displaced people, relief camps & refugee camps” will not be there in Sri Lankan dictionary in future.”

Sri Lanka has set an exemplary example to the world countries by completing a huge daunting task of resettling the IDPs affected by the war within 3 years. There are thousands of people in the world countries still live as IDPs due to various conflicts for many years. But in Sri Lanka the situation is different. The Sri Lankan government with the strong leadership of H E the president, was able to complete resettling the three hundred thousand IDP within 3 years since the end of hostilities.

Under the strict instructions of H E the president , the resettlement process began in May 2009 as soon as the war ended. Minister of economic development Basil Rajapaksa gave a clear guidance to the authorities in this regard. A separate ministry was established under the name of “Ministry of Resettlement” to expedite the process. Governor of Northern Province G A Chandrasiri also contributed immensely to this successful story.

Meanwhile, The United Nations today welcomed the closure of Sri Lanka's last Internally Displaced Persons' Manik Farm camp in Vavuniya and calling the government's measure to resettle the last batch of IDPs a milestone'. 

"This is a milestone event towards ending a chapter of displacement in Sri Lanka some three years after the civil war which ended in May 2009. " the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy said in a statement. 

Last group of over 300,000 displaced persons during the war in the North returned to their original hometowns in the Mullaitivu District on 25th September 2012. Accordingly 1,186 people belonged to 361 families left the Manik Farm IDP camp in Vavuniya on the same day.

HISTORY

The resettlement of IDPs in the North started on 5th August 2009. Under the humanitarian operation nearly 300 thousand persons who were held by the Tiger terrorists as a human shield were liberated and they were temporary housed in Menik Farm in Vavuniya. 

It is a historical victory achieved by the government resettling this huge number of people within a short period of less than three years, whereas in many other countries people of this category are languishing in relief camps even for decades. The Sri Lankan action of resettling the IDPs within a short period has been commended by many countries and international organizations.

“ Resettlement is another milestone achieved in the process of reconciliation”

- News Desk – Governor’s Secretariat (Northern Province)