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Resettlement: 442 families return to Mannar

The people of Mannar chased away by the LTTE in 1990 from their villages, living in IDP camps during the past 19 years, did not expect they could come back to their villages but today they have come to their villages due to the sacrifices and efforts made by the Armed Forces under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to defeat terrorists, Disaster Relief and Resettlement Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said.

Minister Bathiudeen was speaking at a function held at the Musali school grounds, Mannar to resettle 442 families last Friday.

“Today some Opposition members are trying to gain political mileage by shedding crocodile tears over these people who languished in refugee camps. SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem was in Parliament for the past 20 years but did not come forward at least to build one latrine for these displaced persons. The IDPs who returned to their homes should not be deceived by such opportunists,” the Minister said.

The Minister said special thanks were due to the leader of the Task Force of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP who directed the senior officials like Ministry Secretaries to expedite the provision of services to the IDPs so that they could be resettled sooner.

The Government had started constructing new roads, providing electricity and rehabilitated irrigation schemes and the people would benefit from these for a better future, Nation Building Minister S.M. Chandrasena said.

Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri addressing the gathering said that he was as happy as the villagers who had come back to their original places and he had the responsibility to look after them as the Governor. A special team of officials had been appointed to visit the resettled families to find out their problems and these officials would be visiting them within the next few days.

The Government would provide maximum support to restart their lives in the Musali area by providing facilities and assist in every possible way to uplift their living standards. INGOs, NGOs and the Government would work together while de-mining and resettlement would also continue according to the plans of the special task force.

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