Monday, January 25, 2010

IDP's in Sri Lanka: 64% released, 53% returned to places of origin

The final stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War created 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were transferred to camps in Vavuniya District and detained under military supervision in refugee camps as it was suspected that a large number of LTTE Terrorist cadres had covertly joined their ranks. Savvy PR abreast of the upcoming Sri Lankan Presidential elections (to be held on January 26th 2010) or not; the fact remains that as per data available on the 15th of January 187,535 of the IDP's(64%) have been released. Of this number 158,562 (53%)of the IDP's have been returned to their places of origin.

The released displaced persons were given kitchen utensils to start cooking and six months worth of rations as well as building materials to setup temporarily shelters.

In addition to helping them continue with their agricultural activities and setting up income-generating projects the government has provided them with 5,000 rupees ($44) in hand and 20,000 rupees ($175) via a bank account. They have been promised another instalment of 25,000 rupees ($219).

Notes: 5000 rupees is equal to 74% of the average monthly wage for a trades person in Sri Lanka as per data collected in 2008.

Out of the 300,000 a total of 106,123 (35%) are still being detained for screening and 10,000 IDP's have been identified as having some links to the Tamil Tigers. This includes not only former cadres but also their relatives, those who worked in the Tigers’s civil administrative structures and anyone believed to be a supporter or sympathizer of the Tigers. These individuals have been moved to separate refugee camps to ensure safer conditions for the remaining IDP's.

Wikipedia: Data on released IDP's and monthly wages in Sri Lanka
BCC: Funding for refugees allowed out of the camps and testimony of those who have been permanently resettled

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