The Sri Lanka government has sought assistance from the UN to set up of transitional camps in Jaffna in north and Mannar in the north-west for the internally displaced persons (IDP's) currently housed at Menik Farm, before the monsoon rains arrive, reports in Colombo said.
The request was made to Walter Kaelin the Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of IDPs by the Minister of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Rishard Bathiyudeen.
Kaelin wrapped up his low-key visit to Sri Lanka on Saturday after visiting IDP camps in Vavuniya and meeting several ministers and government officials. The UN remained tight-lipped about Kaelin's visit and did not come out with a statement about his views about the progress made in resettling the 2.6-lakh remaining Tamil refugees. It was learnt that the UN would release a statement on Kaelin's visit only after he had briefed the UN general secretary Ban-Ki moon.
The government however claimed that Kaelin was totally satisfied with the conditions at the refugee camps. "Kaelin expressed his full satisfaction about the facilities provided by the Sri Lankan Government for the IDPs sheltered at the Welfare villages,'' the defence ministry said.
Earlier, Bathiyudeen sought help from Kaelin during his meeting with the UN envoy. According to Daily Mirror online, the minister explained to Kaelin that the resettlement of these persons into transitional camps in the areas of Jaffna and Mannar would help them avoid the extreme weather during the coming northeast monsoon. It would also make easier the process for the release and resettlement of the IDP's, he said.
The Minister had further explained that the housing of approximately 45,000 IDP's in their native Jaffna and 16, 000 in Mannar, would also ensure that relations and family members of the displaced need not trek the distance to Menik Farm in Vavuniya but be able to meet their own in an easier manner.