07/27/2012, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Colombo adopts plan for refugees and former Tamil Tigers

by Melani Manel Perera
Sri Lanka responds to United Nations' demands on alleged war crimes committed by the military in last phase of the civil war in 2009 with a National Action Plan that demilitarises the north of the island nation.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The government of Sri Lanka will soon present a National Action Plan to solve problems left from the civil war that will meet the request made by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The most urgent are the resettlement of internally displaced people, the rehabilitation of former Tamil Tiger rebels and the demilitarisation of the north. External Affairs Minister G L Peiris made the announcement yesterday at a joint press conference with President Rajapaksa's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga.

On 22 March, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a motion on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces in 2009. In it, the council told Sri Lankan authorities to improve the recommendations contained in the report by Sri Lanka's own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), set up by the president to investigate the final phase of the civil war.

"As many as 297,000 IDPs have been resettled. By the resettlement process, I don't just mean the mere physical transfer of people from one location to another. I also mean access to livelihoods and incomes," Minister Peiris said.

Furthermore, demining has been completed in almost all High Security Zones in the North. Even what is still high security is only nominally so.

The issue is more delicate when it comes to former Tamil rebels who surrendered at the end of the war.

"The government has placed them in rehabilitation programmes to reintegrate them into society with dignity. Over 90 per cent of that work has been done as well," he said.

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