Colombo announces new phase of 'IDP management'

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 November 2009, 00:55 GMT]
Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother and advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP on Saturday announced that the Tamils held in the internment camps of Vavuniyaa would be free, starting from December 01, to go and live wherever they want to or to choose whether they want to continue to remain inside the camps. Tamil sources in Vavuniyaa view the announcement with scepticism describing it as an 'election gimmick' while expressing fear of increased disappearances and militarisation of the Tamil homeland.

Earlier, only the elderly persons were allowed to leave the camps through sponsorship apart from those who were re-located.

The announcement of Basil comes as Rajapaksa government is trying to woo the Tamil voters of the North and East in the forthcoming elections.

Meanwhile, senior government officers in Vavuniyaa said there was no proper plan of resettlement in Vavuniyaa, expressing fear that the Sri Lankan forces would step up checking and harassments in the town, which would be overcrowded with IDPs.

Heavy Sri Lankan military fortifications have been set up in the townships of Vanni where all symbols of the once LTTE administered de-facto state have been wiped out.

In the meantime, the SLA has been erecting several mini-camps in the interior areas of Jaffna peninsula. The SLA in Jaffna is also busy strengthening the security measures of the frontiers of its High Security Zones.

IDPs are regularly harassed by the Sri Lankan forces in every part of the Tamil regions of the North and East of the island.


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