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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.

 

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