NGOs can contribute to resettlement drive - Defence Spokesman
Mass Media and Communication Minister and Defence Spokesman Keheliya
Rambukkwella yesterday stated that any public representative and Non
Government Organization can visit the North and East and contribute to
its ongoing resettlement drive and the development process.
The Minister addressing the media at the Media Center for National
Security stated that the NGOs that wish to contribute in the development
process and the resettlement process could go there but not those with
ulterior motives that make statements harmful to the interests of the
There are packages introduced at the Resettlement Ministry to support
the development process in the North and East and any NGO could select
any of them and visit the area to expedite the process.
He further stated that there were restrictions imposed by the
Government earlier in visiting these areas as many of the NGOs and
persons were pessimistic and their objective was to make destructive
comments on the Government’s process and create chaos.
Referring to the allegations by the JVP who said the Government was
not conducting the resettlement drive of the IDPs in North and East
properly Minister Rambukwella stated that as a government they were
happy with the progress of the resettlement process.
He also stated that no government in the world faced such a herculean
task and the JVP was condemning it because it was running out of
Minister Rambukwella pointed out that 85 percent of the IDPs of 267
393 in the North and East were resettled within a year at a rate of 700
IDPs per day.
The rest 35,333 IDPs would be resettled immediately.
He said that according to the United Nations norms the security of
the people should be guaranteed and there was a legal issue of
resettling people in an area where 1.5 million land mines were strewn.
Although Indian Government and other institutions offered to support us
in de-mining the magnitude of the task was so heavy that the government
had to spend Rs 860 million on the machines and the equipment used in
the de-mining process.
Ninety five percent of the demining process is conducted by the Sri
Still there is a 12 to 15 percent of mines to be cleared in
He expressed his regret that the JVP which is aware of the real
situation, was suppressing the truth.