The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has assured the Indian MPs' delegation that 58,000 of the 2.53 lakh internally displaced Tamils in Lanka would be sent home from the camps in the next fortnight and the rest in a phased manner, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said in Chennai on Wednesday.
The resettlement process would begin on Thursday, Karunanidhi, who received the delegation and its report at the airport on their arrival from Lanka after a five-day tour, told reporters.
"The team insisted to Rajapakse and other authorities that Tamils must be sent back to original places before monsoon sets in. Accepting the demand, Rajapakse and other officials said 58,000 persons would be sent back to their homes within next 15 days. The rest of them will be sent to their homes in a phased manner," he said.
The DMK leader said the delegation, comprising ten MPs of the DMK-led Front in Tamil Nadu, was also told that Colombo had sought India's help in demining operations in Tamil populated areas.
The Lankan officials assured the team that all efforts would be made to hand over orphaned children and disabled persons to NGOs, he said.
On a mission to get a first hand account of the conditions of the Tamils displaced by the war between the Lankan army and LTTE, the delegation included MPs from DMK, Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.