The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday welcomed the Sri Lankan government's decision to allow more freedom of movement to the Internally Displaced Persons sheltered in welfare camps in the North.
Sri Lanka government said Saturday that the displaced civilians in the camps will have more freedom to move in and out of the camps with effect from next month ahead of their resettlement.
"The Secretary-General also welcomes the release of over half of the IDPs from the camps, and encourages the Government to continue to prioritise the return of IDPs," the spokesperson for the Secretary-General said in a statement.
The UN has been pressing the Sri Lankan government to grant the freedom of movement to the detainees and for their early resettlement.
"The Secretary-General urges the Government of Sri Lanka to continue to work with the UN and other humanitarian partners to improve the quality of the returns process, including through consultation with the IDPs themselves, and to ensure the best possible assistance and services to returnees," the statement said.
Senior Presidential Advisor and parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa who is leading the "Uthuru Wasanthaya" development program said the restrictions imposed on the movement of civilians in the camps will be lifted with effect from 1st December 2009 to enable them to freely move to any part of the region.
He further said that all the displaced persons would be resettled in their own villages by the 31st of January.
The government has resettled over 140,000 IDPs so far and another 136,000 are remaining in the camps.