Australia has offered $3 million to Sri Lanka towards the resettlement of displaced civilians there and said it will “closely” watch the process and how the people currently living in camps are treated.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia will watch the resettlement process and treatment of the displaced closely. The money million will be spent on the resettlement process that is expected to begin by next month.
“It is now vital to move quickly, more quickly than has been the case to this point, to create the conditions for them to rebuild their lives,” he said.
“Australia and the international community continue to watch closely to see how the Sri Lankan authorities treat people in camps for internally displaced people, how they manage their resettlement, and how they institute political reform and reconciliation,” he was quoted as saying by ABC.
Smith also backed UNICEF official James Elder, who has been asked by the Sri Lankan Government to leave the country after he made adverse comments about the living conditions in the camp.
“I have looked at Elder’s reported remarks and they do not cause me any difficulty,” Smith said.
“Indeed he has been making the point as has our Government that we need to see unimpeded access by global agencies to the camps for internally displaced people. I take this opportunity to commend the work of UNICEF,” he said.