Sri Lanka to adopt policy for war displaced

Colombo, Aug 17 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday said it has prepared a policy to deal with war-affected families.

The cabinet had approved the framing of a policy on durable solutions for conflict-affected displacement, Xinhua news agency quoted Media Minister Gayantha Karunatillake as saying.

Thousands were displaced during the fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military at the end of the 30-year civil war in May 2009.

He said the policy was prepared after discussions with relevant ministries, national, provincial and district-level stakeholders, UN agencies, civil society organisations and the displaced communities.

“It demonstrates the government’s commitment in rebuilding the lives of displaced families on a rights-based approach. Affirming a durable solution goes beyond resettlement and it includes provision of protection, housing, water, sanitation and healthcare, primary education, a good living standard, and access to livelihood etc.”

“Also they should be socialised without any discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity, age, language, political opinion, religion, caste, living place etc,” the minister said.

He said the policy was submitted to the cabinet by D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs.

The government has implemented various welfare programmes for the kin of soldiers who sacrificed their lives, or soldiers who are missing or became disabled during the war, Karunatillake said.



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