Moves afoot to convince reluctant Allaippiddi IDPs to return

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 February 2008, 14:23 GMT]
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Allaippiddi from the islets of Jaffna who were displaced due to Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) offensives in Allaippiddi in August 2006 and presently staying in Jaffna, are reluctant to return to their villages according to arrangements made by Jaffna Secretariat because fishing, their main means of living, in their areas is banned by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), IDP related welfare organization sources in Jaffna said.

The Danish Demining Team is clearing government lands near Allaippiddi settlements and schools, directed by Jaffna Government Agent (GA), for relocating the Allaippiddi IDPs.

The houses of the IDPs in Allaippiddi are without roofing because of damages due to Mulit-Barrlel Rocket Launcher fire from Palaali SLA military base, and unexploded shells in the area present imminent danger to would be residents, the IDP welfare organization staffers who visited Allaipiddi said.

The Allaippiddi IDPs, all of them members of fisher families, now fish in Naavaanthu’rai sea in Jaffna for their living.

SLN has banned all fishing in their customary fishing areas in Allaippiddi and without fishing they will struggle to survive economically, the IDPs said.

The Jaffna GA is under pressure from higher government authorities and EPDP paramilitary leader and Sri Lankan Minister, Douglas Devananda to convince IDPs to return, sources close to Jaffna Secretariat said.

Jaffna Secretariat is continuing arrangements to have the IDPs resettled but the IDPs are very much reluctant to return.

Meanwhile, volunteer organizations related to the welfare of IDPs said that they are prepared to erect shelters for the IDPs.


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