A top Sri Lankan opposition leader has accused the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa of deliberately delaying the rehabilitation of displaced Tamil civilians in the island's north, where the refugees are "still complaining" of shortage of basic requirements.
"The government is deliberately keeping the internally displaced persons inside those (relief) camps," former Prime Minister and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe has said.
Wickremasinghe claimed that the conditions in the welfare camps were not satisfactory and said, "If you look at the refugee camps the basic requirements are not being met."
"There are still complaints of shortage of basic requirements. Families are still separated. Why cannot the families brought together?" the former prime minister asked.
He told a private channel on Saturday night that the Tamil people from Wanni want to go back to their home in the North at the earliest and they had sought funds for the purpose.
"Those 70 per cent of the houses (in Wanni) were not damaged. They were only partially damaged. Similarly, there are areas that are unmined," he said apparently reacting to the government's contention that the people could be sent to
the north only after the demining process was over.
"The people (in Wanni) had said give us money so that we could sustain ourselves during one cultivation period. And after that we can stand on our own," he said.