By Nabeela Hussain
UN Resident and Country Representative Neil Buhne yesterday said that 90% of the IDPs in the North had been resettled. Addressing a programme held to commemorate World Humanitarian Day, Mr. Bhune said resettlement of IDPs should be complete within the coming months. “We hope that future humanitarian work will only be needed for people who are affected by natural disasters,” he said. He said there were many development works that had been done by the UN during the previous year in Sri Lanka and they including the controlling of disease out-break in the Menik Farm, the reduction of malnutrition in children under five, 2% of which had remained stable since then and the registration of over 57,000 students in the newly opened schools in the North.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who was also present at the programme thanked the UN and all humanitarian organizations for their efforts. “I ask that you would help us to resettle long term IDPs which is much harder to do as they have been IDPs for more than 20 yeas or so,” he said.
Minister Rajapaksa also said the Sri Lankan government and the UN had some different opinions on some matters but were able to overcome this as the goal had been to resettle those who had been affected by the war.
He also said the government would like to keep aside its differences in opinion with the UN and work together in the future to achieve the final target of peace. Minister Rajapaksa also said that there had been a misunderstanding between them when they had built semi- permanent houses at the IDP camps. “Everyone thought that we were going to keep them there for years but now that they have understood our intentions we have moved on,” he said.
Source: Daily Mirror – 20.08.2010