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US concerned over 'rushed' resettlement of Lankan IDPs

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - 3:57pm IST | Place: COLOMBO | Agency: PTI

Close on the heels of the United Nations' concerns last month, US says many long-term IDPs remain unable to return home or access basic services from the Sri Lankan government.

The US on Thursday expressed concern over the "rushed" resettlement of the last batch of Tamils displaced during Sri Lanka's decade-long civil war that ended in 2009. "We remain concerned about the rushed resettlement of the final internally displaced persons (IDPs) to close the Menik Farm camp," the US Embassy said in a statement.

"Many of the most vulnerable families of the war-affected population in the North have been placed on land hastily cleared without adequate shelter, water and sanitation, or provisions to continue their livelihoods," the statement added.

The statement said many long-term IDPs remain unable to return home or access basic services from the government. Last month, the United Nations had also expressed similar concerns.

While welcoming the closure of the Menik Farm camp which housed the IDPs since the end of the military campaign in 2009 the UN said it was concerned about people being resettled in state land while they await to hear about their original locations and if compensation would be paid if they could not return to their own lands.

Tamil parties alleged that the last batch of IDPs had been resettled under very harsh conditions by leaving them in the middle of a thick jungle.

Set up in 2009, the Menik Farm was once the world's largest displaced camp sheltering nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians fleeing from the fighting between the government troops and the Tamil Tigers.

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