SL claims it has resettled Tamils
AFP: Sri Lanka sends home displaced civilians, 23October 2009
Sri Lanka, under pressure to release 250,000 Tamil civilians displaced in the final defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels, has begun resettling some who fled their homes more than two years ago.
The top government administrator in the northern town of Vavuniya, PSM Charles, said 41,000 civilians were being released from camps and allowed to return home.
“Those released fled their homes when fighting broke out in their areas over two years ago. Some of them will stay in school buildings in their areas till they are able to renovate their houses,” Charles told AFP.
SBS News: Tamil refugees resettled, 23 October 2009 – Click here to view news clip
ABC Radio AM Program: Sri Lanka releases Tamils from camps, 23 October 2009
TONY EASTLEY: After the Sri Lankan military crushed the Tamil Tigers earlier this year, thousands of civilians wound up in Government run camps, largely closed off to humanitarian organisations and the media.
The bloody conflict between the government forces and the Tamil Tigers displaced hundreds of thousands of people and many had their homes and livelihoods destroyed. It led to an outflow of asylum seekers – many of whom have boarded boats in Indonesia bound for Australian territorial waters.
Now, for the first time Sri Lanka’s Government has announced it has released almost 6,000 refugees from the former Tamil Tiger controlled areas. The Government says a further 36,000 displaced people will be allowed out of the camps in the coming weeks.
Anbarasan Ethirajan, 22 October 2009
Nearly 6,000 Tamil refugees have been released from Sri Lanka’s main camp for war-displaced people, officials say.
It is the first time refugees have been allowed to return to areas formerly controlled by the Tamil Tigers.
Those who left Menik Farm are among almost 40,000 people to be resettled over the next few weeks, officials say.
It would be the largest single batch freed since the Tamil Tigers were defeated in May. Some 250,000 civilians are housed in military-run camps.
The authorities have been criticised for the slow pace of resettlement.