The Sri Lankan government has made great progress in resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) since the end of the conflict in 2009, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Dr. Chaloka Beyani has said after his visit to Sri Lanka.
During his visit from 2 to 6 December, the Special Rapporteur visited various sites of displacement and met with displaced persons and local authorities as well as government ministers.
"After having made impressive strides in rebuilding infrastructure destroyed during the conflict, post conflict reconstruction in Sri Lanka should also focus on addressing durable solutions for all IDPs and those who have returned to their areas of origin on a comprehensive basis," Dr. Beyani following his visit said in a statement.
The Rapporteur commended the government for its great progress in resettling over 450,000 IDPs displaced during the conflict.
He noted that in a period of four years after the end of the conflict in 2009, the Government has made great progress in fostering economic development and building infrastructure, including in those areas the country which bore the brunt of the armed conflict.
Demining in return areas, the rebuilding of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and houses, as well as the release of some land to their original owners allowed many IDPs to return and go back to their traditional livelihood of farming and fishing, he observed.
"Of equal importance is an environment allowing the resettled and remaining IDPs to exercise their property rights, receive information on missing family members and access legal services," he highlighted.
According to Dr. Beyani, key issues to address include protection of the physical integrity and bodily autonomy of women and girls and their reproductive rights, of children, feasible access to land, and a proportionate balance between justifiable military concerns of national security and freedom of movement and choice of place for IDPs seeking to return to their original places of residence.
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