Anyone can visit IDP camps but not for own gain

The government would allow any interested party or group to assist and help the internally displaced persons currently located in the welfare centres in the North, but won’t let anyone capitalize on their grievances, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo Abeywardena said that there were political parties and NGOs demanding access to these camps with the intention of gaining political mileage and to secure foreign funds for NGOs. They cannot be allowed because their intentions are not genuinely motivated to assist IDPs, he said.

There are several IDP camps in Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mannar accommodating thousands of persons who were displaced by the recently concluded war. The security forces are running the IDP camps with government assistance and the government has announced that it would resettle them soon, he said. "The main Opposition United National Party and some non governmental organizations had requested the government to give them permission to visit the IDP camps. The government allowed some foreign delegations to visit the camps because they will fund the welfare of the IDPs. But the UNP is again spreading false statements," he said.

Minister Abeygunawardena said that now the war was over, resettlement would commence soon but the UNP wanted to sabotage the process and tarnish the government’s image.

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