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SL begins resettlement of war-victims

world Updated: May 13, 2007 18:52 IST

PTI
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Sri Lanka is set to resettle about 1,25,000 people displaced by fighting in the island's east, officials said on Sunday even as international relief agencies expressed fear about their safety.

Government officials said the first batch of 4,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) would be moved on Monday to their homes in Vellaveli under a programme that will be completed in about two weeks.

However, a consortium of international relief agencies coordinated by UN organisations said the situation in the eastern district of Batticaloa was still tense and the resettlement was risky.

"Military and civilian authorities have been registering IDPs in the southern divisions of Batticaloa in view of planned resettlement towards the western part of Batticaloa," the aid agencies said.

"However, the resettlement plan has not been presented yet and the humanitarian community fears that the lack of proper planning might put returnees in a situation where safety and dignity are not ensured in the villages." Heavy fighting in the region earlier this year saw over 125,000 people driven out of their homes. The military now claims it is in control of the area after having neutralised the Tigers.