Kamal Gunaratna, the designated Competent Authority in Sri Lanka for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Wanni Commander, has said that with the resettlement of the latest batch of IDPs, the remaining number of Tamils in the camps was down to nearly 2.13 lakh from 2.82 lakh.
On Thursday, Colombo released 41,685 Tamils of 12,000 families displaced during the Eelam War IV.
“In another two weeks at least 30,000 to 35,000 more displaced in the camps would hopefully be facilitated to return to their original homes.”
In a special message for the released IDPs, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa said:
“That period of immense tragedy is now over, as are the temporary hardships you faced as internally displaced persons. You are moving on to a new life, in the company of family and friends. You will find new and welcome challenges of the future. My government has done much to make your new life most acceptable to you, providing the needs for a quality of life to enhance your dignity as a person.
“The most cherished assets you have today are your children, whom you have sheltered as best as you could. This is the time to ensure that your children are guided by you to benefit from the new facilities that are being provided for them and ensure that they are never again allowed to be misled by false prophets or saviours. Together you can build a new life and look to benefit from the many opportunities that will be available in the tranquillity of peace and friendship.”
Among those present at the function included D. Siddarthan of PLOTE, Tamil National Alliance MP from Wanni Shivnathan Kishore and Governor of Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri.