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Sunday, 22 October 2017
Sunday, 22 October 2017 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Hold Special School Examinations for IDPs to Restore Confidence - NPC PDF Print E-mail
The end of the war has brought with it the opportunity for a restoration of normalcy and reconciliation after 30 years of suffering and trauma.  However, the plight of the nearly 300,000 internally displaced persons who are being kept within welfare centres in Vavuniya is a continuing source of much suffering and heartburn.
The situation within these camps is reported to be very poor and cannot easily be verified as entry into them is severely restricted.  The National Peace Council urges the government, as a priority measure, to specify a time frame for the release of these people from the welfare centres and their resettlement.

Other important measures would include systematic and transparent screening and registration of these people, and the reunification of families that have been divided without further delay. Another urgent matter is the education of children.  We have learnt through reports that there are between 35,000 to 50,000 children of school going age in the welfare centres.  Around 750 of them will be eligible to sit for the Advanced Level examinations that will be held in August.  However, these unfortunate children will be disadvantaged as their studies would have been severely disrupted in the past months.

Nearly all the people in the welfare centres were living in the war zone of the North until May this year.  Most of them were living displaced from their homes and with the barest of facilities.  They clearly need to have more time to prepare for their Advanced Level examinations.  NPC urges that special Advanced Level examinations be held for them at a later date.  We have written to the Minister of Education and appeal to him to make this provision for the school children in the welfare camps. There have been precedents for this practice in the past.  Such an action, if coupled with the other measures specified above would do much to restore confidence in the internally displaced persons, and larger population, that the government is committed to the restoration of normalcy and reconciliation.

Governing Council

The National Peace Council is an independent and non partisan organisation that works towards a negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. It has a vision of a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka in which the freedom, human rights and democratic rights of all the communities are respected. The policy of the National Peace Council is determined by its Governing Council of 20 members who are drawn from diverse walks of life and belong to all the main ethnic and religious communities in the country.
 
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