Transferring IDPs, instead of releasing them, must stop: Anglican Bishop

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 September 2009, 15:22 GMT]
If [IDP] persons said to be released [from the internment camps in Vavuniyaa] are in fact being transferred to camps in different regions, this is misleading and must stop, says Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rev. de Chickera. The Bishop has urged Rajapaksa government to allow media access to areas in the North and provide public updates on the work regarding resettlement of displaced persons.

Extracts from the statement by the Bishop follow:

"If the decision [to release persons in the camps] has been put on hold it must be reactivated. If the response of relatives has been slow, more time and wider publicity should be given. If persons said to be released are in fact being transferred to camps in different Regions, this is misleading and must stop. Reports of the lack of co-ordination amongst State Authorities are disappointing, and all those responsible for implementing this decision should be required to ensure co-ordination, compassion and speed.

"The decision to release, should however be clearly seen as an interim measure. The much more urgent task is to expedite the process of resettlement. Once the ‘home areas” of the Displaced are cleared of mines and the required infrastructure built, persons displaced, whether in the camps or with relatives, should be resettled in their original homes.

"I finally urge the Government to provide the Media with access to areas being de-mined and reconstructed, (subject to their safety and security precautions) and to also make regular public updates on this work. This will in turn provide information to all Sri Lankans, whether displaced or not, on the progress being made in this regard. In doing so the Government will demonstrate transparency in its management of the crisis and State Ministries and Officials will quite rightly be held accountable by the people."

 

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