Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake in Parliament said yesterday (Aug. 07) that the Government had resettled 150,202 families displaced (IDPs) during the war against terrorism by September 30, 2012.
The Minister, participating in the second reading stage debate on Prescription (Special Provisions) Bill, said landmines-infested areas had been cleared and converted into relief zones.
Minister Dissanayake said: “During the times of North East Conflict, there had been separate courts, bank system and administrative system operated in the North. We have been able to bring forth a piece of legislation to strengthen democracy in the North, thanks to the valiant forces who fought a sacrificing war against terrorism to wipe that menace out of this land. We remember those days when we were debating in this august assembly to extend the emergency laws. The TNA then too uttered no word against terrorism.”
It is wrong for Sampanthan to say that families had not been resettled in the North. With the end of the Humanitarian Operations there were IDPs who had been forcibly held by the LTTE. The security forces provided them food, shelter, medical supplies and other basic facilities including education, social welfare facilities until they could be properly resettled in their former villages. Each family had been given Rs.25, 000 as a grant to commence constructing their houses. The sum total of funds given so was Rs.2241 million. Those people had been provided with a relief package that contained a bag of dry rations and non-food items such as soap, towels etc. worth around Rs.9, 000, the Minister said.
Agricultural equipment had been provided to 95,000 families. Government spent Rs.208 million to distribute bags of cement among 50,000 families- each family had been given eight bags of cement. Those resettled had been provided with infrastructure facilities and seeds and fertilizer to resume their livelihoods in agriculture sector, the Minister added.
Minister Dissanayake further said that the security forces fought to rescue the innocent Tamil people from the clutches of terrorism. “Mr Sampanthan talks only of Tamil people. This country belongs to all its citizens – there are Muslim and other minorities too, the Minister said.