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Saturday, 21 July 2018
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Without “IDP Camps" Politics PDF Print E-mail
From the Editors of Sri Lanka Watch. With the announcement of the government that the movement restrictions on the camps to be removed from the first of December and its adamant aim to resettle the rest of the people by the end of January, government has smashed out one issue of the opposition in the coming election.

By the time election campaign comes in to full swing, the issue of IDPs in Camps will a dead coin.

Six months after the defeat of the Tigers the displaced in the North East found themselves with many unsolved issues. It also became a GSP+ concession as well.
The government said that the Tiger elements hiding amongst the displaced have to be identified and the de-mining completed before successfully resettling the people. It was also stated that even though these reasons were plausible they could not remain reasonable six months after the cessation of war.

In this environment the announcement made by Mr. Basil Rajapakse that the displaced will be able to move freely from the 1st of December is most welcome.
After the war all oppositions in the country started to make use of the Camps for the displaced as their trump to oppose the government. Had the opposition helped the government to resettle the people, they too could have been praised today. And that would have helped to resettle the people fast isn’t it?

Instead the opposition used that as the trump card to throw mud on the government. Some leading Local NGOs, Think Tanks, Singhala and Tamil politicians made propaganda abroad against the government on this issue for their own political mileage.

About 130,000 people still live in the camps. Recent visit of UN Rep. John Holms, TNA parliamentarians have made positive comments and satisfaction about the living conditions of these IDPs.

The 300,000 who were forcibly detained by the LTTE fled to government controlled areas from the defeat of the LTTE. It is no wonder to find local and international forces attempting to use the problems faced by the displaced for political and other gains.

But they kept on attacking the Government’s policy on re-settling the displaced both locally and internationally.

But the government was very careful not to take any chances of destruction again. They cleared the area and started process of resettlement gradually and with responsibility. Now clearing the area of mines has taken up fast and that is why the resettlement is taking fast.

It is anticipated all present IDPs would be resettled by January. Soon there would be no internally displaced people in the country. This was the ambition of the government. The announcement shows the firmness of the President Rajapakse on the IDP issue.

Now the people of camps can go anywhere they like and hence now they can no more say they are detention camps. All citizens can now use the public transport network to travel to and fro from Jaffna and the North using only the National ID card.

The granting of the right for those in camps for the displaced to move freely from the 1st of December is another important step in normalizing the lifestyle of the citizens in the camps for the displaced. It is better the opposition helps the government to help the people get resettled fast.

INGOs, Politicians, Local NGOs and the so called “Think Tanks” should be ashamed to have used the plight of the IDPs for their political gains. It should also be considered as a reply given by sovereign state, to all those nationally and internationally who tried to use the IDP issues to gain unfair advantage.

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