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‘Cultural links vital to rehabilitate IDPs’

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Vinya S. Ariyaratne —
Vinya S. Ariyaratne —

Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: Cultural connection between the youth and children of Tamil Nadu with those of the Island nation is essential for rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction and reconciliation of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka, Vinya S. Ariyaratne, Executive Director of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement for Sri Lanka, said here recently.

He was speaking on the topic ‘Ensuring human development during violent conflict experiences from Sri Lanka’ at a function ‘Dedication of the 2009 Day of Prayer and Action for Children’ organised by Shanthi Ashram in association with Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

Dr. Ariyaratne said that the failure of the Government to treat the minorities especially the Tamil as an integral part of governance led to the armed struggle in the Island.

Mr. Ariyaratne said that detention of youth and children is being fought vehemently by Sarvodaya.

“There is a need for children to resume schooling by leaving the detention camps and reunite with their families.”

The last phase of the Eelam war had left 3,00,000 Tamil civilian population displaced and now efforts are on to ensure a decent living for this population with their families out of the camps.

Explaining the role of Sarvodaya in rebuilding the society in the Island, Mr. Ariyaratne said that since 1983 to 2008 barring the ceasefire period of 2002-07 over 60,000 people were killed and over one lakh people were displaced. Mr. Ariyaratne said that the war has ended but the conflict between Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamil has to end. Sarvodaya was trying to foster peace by ending conflicts.

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