The United Nations yesterday welcomed the closure of Menik Farm, the last welfare centre for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)s.
"This is a milestone event towards ending a chapter of displacement in Sri Lanka some three years after the civil war which ended in May 2009. But there are still some people who are unable to return to their homes and a solution urgently needs to be found," the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy said in a statement.
According to the Competent Authority for IDPs in the Northern region, 1,186 people belonged to 361 families left the Manik Farm IDP camp in Vavuniya yesterday. The UN however said that it is concerned about 346 people (110 families) who are returning from Menik Farm to Kepapilavu in Mullaitivu District, who are unable to return to their homes which are occupied by the military.
"The closure of the camp is a significant sign of the transition from conflict to sustainable peace and the commitment of the Government to resettling tens of thousands of people back to their homes," the humanitarian coordinator said.
"But there are still many people living with friends and relatives particularly in Jaffna and Vavuniya, or living in welfare centers. Some of these people have been displaced for years and they also need a lasting solution," he said.