ĎDecline in IDP movement due to demining processí
The Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugees, said on Friday that there had been a decline in the movement of internally displaced persons within the past few months owing to the on going "demining process." "We cannot afford to allow the IDPís or refugees to return to those areas until we receive a certification from the United Nations Development Program that the areas are mine free.
Secondly the issue of the High Security Zone (HSZ) is also imminent and unsettled. "But it is to be addressed as soon as negotiations commence," Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugees, claimed on Friday . "The trend in IDP movements to and within the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Puttalam shows a decline in figures," Jayawardane pointed out.
From January to June last year over 141,107 IDPs were moving. The figures dropped to 28,827 in July the same year.
However the figures of IDP movement dropped severely by August 2003 to 3,462.
"The total number of IDP movement from January 2002 to August 2003 has been 316,315," he said.
The most number of IDP movement this August was seen in the Jaffna District, where 1,352 IDPs were moving (1,169 IDPs from outside and 183 IDPís within the Jaffna District). "This is nearly double the amount of the movement seen in the District of Kilinochchi (716)," the minister pointed out. The two mainstream of IDPís come from the Districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu amounts to 500.
He claimed that a majority of IDPs in the Jaffna District moved to Thenmarachchi in the Chavakachcheri area. It has affected 16,523 IDP families (60,145 individuals ) from January 2002 to August 2003.
However in August 2003 this tendency of IDP movement cannot be confirmed any more, Dr. Jayawardane said.
Meanwhile he pointed out that 1,102 refugee families had been repatriated from India to the Jaffna and Mannar Districts from January 2002 to August 2003. "In this period there was a total movement of 160 refugee families. (DJ)
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