UN Rapporteur notes uncertainty in Sri Lanka

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, says significant progress had been made since the end of the war in Sri Lanka but there was some uncertainty about the durability of the solutions that had been applied in the north of the country.

Speaking to reporters at the UN yesterday Beyani recalled that his predecessor, Walter Kälin, had recommended that the country close camps and resettle people in the North.

While part of the mandate of the special rapporteur was to support the closure of camps, he said, such closure must be followed by durable solutions and the restoration of normalcy.

Indeed, “once camps are closed, it doesn’t mean that [internally displaced persons] become invisible”.  Closure should be preceded by preparedness measures, and a balance should be struck between the various options for internally displaced persons – namely, return, reintegration and resettlement elsewhere.

He added that Sri Lanka was one of the countries he had in mind for the second phase of his mandate.