Basil briefs Pillay’s delegation on IDPs

Senior Adviser to the President and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa briefed a delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay on the developments with regards to the Internally Displaced People (IDP) in the north.

The Minister’s office said that the delegation was told that the government has safeguarded the human rights of the war displaced people by ensuring a life without fear and uncertainly, providing facilities to start a new life in their original places, developing infrastructure and helping to develop their livelihood.

The delegation headed by Hanny Megally, Chief, Asia Pacific and Middle East and North African Branch of OHCHR includes Oscar Solers, the human rights officer at OHCHR.

Responding to query by the delegation, the Minister said that there are some issues in the resettlement process including getting back IDPs who are in camps in India and resettling the old IDPs.

Rajapaksa also told the delegation that during the conflict the government provided food and other basic requirements to the civilians in the government controlled areas and LTTE controlled areas without any discrimination.

He also warned that while the UPFA won the highest number of votes from the Eastern province during the recent elections there is an attempt to divide the people through communal politics.

United Nations resident coordinator in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy, Director General of the Ministry of Economic Development Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara, Secretary to the Presidential Task Force Mr. S. B. Divaratne, Director General of External Affairs at the Ministry of Economic Development Saroja Sirisena and Director General of Ministry of External Affairs Mr. U.L.M. Jauhar also participated at the discussion.

The UN human rights office delegation is in Sri Lanka following a resolution adopted on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March.  (Colombo Gazette)