In a clear signal that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has succeeded in garnering support from a section of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), one parliamentarian of the group came out openly in Parliament in support of the Government.
On Thursday in the course of the debate on the Government motion for extension of emergency TNA's N. Sri Kantha was all praise for Basil Rajapaksa, an MP and senior advisor to President, for his contribution in resettling the war displaced “quite early” in the Northern Province.
Mr. Basil Rajapaksa is the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and heads of the Presidential Task Force to oversee relief to the war displaced, rehabilitation and resettlement in the north.
“…The efforts of my colleague Basil Rajapaksa has proved commendable as over 100,000 displaced persons have already been resettled”, he told the House.
He reiterated support of his group for the government rehabilitation, resettlement and redevelopment projects. On Friday Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights said that the total number of IDPs resettled up to date is 91,999. “A total number of IDPs resettled and released is 1,19,687.
As of Nov 6, 2009, the total number of IDPs remaining in Vavuniya is 1,43,534 which is a huge improvement from the figure weeks ago which was as high as 2,50,000”, he told a news conference.
The total number of IDPs remaining in welfare centres in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee is 1,53,021.
“The improvements are endorsed by key figures such as U.N. Under-Secretary-General Sir John Holmes who called the resettlement process as ‘significant’ and ‘encouraging.’ India's Minister for External Affairs has said that India is happy with the progress while TNA members have commended the resettlement process yesterday in parliament”, Mr. Samarasinghe said.