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DateLine Monday, 9 February 2009

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Government Gazette

Over 24,000 houses, for people fleeing Vanni

The Government is in the process of constructing 24,000 houses in three welfare villagers in Ramanathan Suthanthriapiram, Arunachchalam Viduthalaipuram and Kathiragamareluchchi Nagar of Vvuniya to provide urgent relief assistance to the Internally Displaced People (IDPS) fleeing Vanni.

Addressing a media- conference in Colombo last week, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Risath Bathiyutheen said a number of IDPs have started fleeing the clutches of terrorists from Vanni to Vavuniya gradually.

The Government is fully committed to provide them with all basic assistance and accommodation. A welfare village is being established at Adampan for the IDPs coming from the Mannar district.

These three welfare villages in Vavuniya are being established in an area of 900 acres. It is proposed to build 8,000 houses in each welfare village with all infrastructure facilities, such as post office, hospital schools, bank, children's play ground, libraries, community centers and officers' quarters.

At present, 2,913 IDPs from 1180 families have come to Vavuniya. Meanwhile, the Government provides secure accommodation to 2,131 IDPs from 940 families in the Nelukkulam welfare center while 782 IDPs of 240 families are accommodated in the Menik farm welfare center.

Basic medical facilities are available at the Vavuniya Base Hospital and Cheddikulam base hospital to provide medical assistance to these people.

"Senior Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa with Ministry officials has had discussions with all UN agencies and the INGOs.

The Government and UN agencies have agreed to assist to provide the needs of the IDPs.

The Vanni area is vast with a large amount of landmines and the area has to be cleared before the IDPs are resettled back in their native places.

Once the land is declared free of landmines then it would be possible for the Ministry to resettle them in a proper manner as per the accepted norms of the UN organisation like UNHCR as done in the Batticaloa district.

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