IDPs faith in Forces a victory for Government
The trust reposed in the Armed Forces by Tamil civilians in the
Northern region is a clear victory. Wining their hearts and the wrong
attitude given by the LTTE towards the Armed Forces have now faded and
IDPs now depend on the Armed Forces. This is a good sign towards
achievement of peace, Disaster Relief Services Minister Ameer Ali told
the Daily News on Wednesday.
"It is not an easy task to provide facilities for the IDPs increasing
day by day. The number of IDPs has reached nearly 200,000 now and the
Government was providing its best though it could not give them the best
of all facilities. The Armed Forces and police too were doing their best
to provide services while President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Senior
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP were giving the leadership to
provide facilities and welfare to the IDPs," he said.
It was the LTTE that forcibly evicted more than 125,000 people from
Mannar District and some of those people are still living in refugee
camps in the Puttalam District for the past 18 years, the Minister said.
"The Government looked after those refugees and provided various
relief measures to them. The Government had that experience to handle
the recent influx of IDPs when they came to Government controlled areas
after escaping the LTTE. At the beginning we had problems, but gradually
we managed to attend to their necessities," the Minister said.
"The experience we had resettling the Eastern Province refugees could
be used to resettle the Northern IDPs. It would also be done in a
systematic manner though it could not be done overnight. The de-mining
process would also take time and the Government had a major
responsibility to ensure that civilians were resettled as soon as
possible," he said.