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UN says displaced numbers are fast dwindling

Dec 8, 2010 2:41:50 AM - itnnews.lk

The UN in Sri Lanka says the number of Internally Displaced Persons living in camps outside the former war zone has dropped drastically.

It says there are now only about 20,000 displaced persons who are yet to be resettled. That compares with more than 300,000 people when the fighting ended. In recent months, the colours showing resettled areas of northern Sri Lanka on UN maps have been getting steadily deeper as their population density grew, with displaced Tamil civilians returning home from the camps. Parts of the North, including much of Mullaitivu – the last stronghold of the LTTE – were completely devoid of people just 10 months ago. Now, helped by de-mining, several thousand have returned to their home villages there. The UN says the government has given returnees modest grants and some house-building materials.

It points out that the authorities have been organising commendable initiatives to share information with those still displaced, including temporary visits to their villages for some still living in camps.