|Civilians will arrive 'within days'|
|Monday, 19 January 2009|
All the civilians in LTTE-held areas in the north are expected to arrive in the government territory within the next two to three days, Eastern Province Chief Minister (CM) said.
Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) said that Sri Lanka troops have reported to have already entered Pudukudiyiruppu.
He made the remarks while launching a programme to collect aid for the use of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the war zone in Mullaitivu, northern Sri Lanka.
The ministers in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) have decided to launch the programme through local government offices in the province and collect aid until 26 January.
The aid is to be delivered to transit camps in the north where IDPs arriving from the war zone are camped.
By the time the aid collection is completed, CM Pillayan said, every civilian in the war zone would be in transit camps.
A New York based human rights group has earlier criticised the conditions in the transit camps.
The Human Rights Watch also accused the authorities of detaining civilians fleeing the battle zone.
Denying the accusation, the government accuses the LTTE of keeping the civilians under their control as a human shield.
Mr. Pillayan said that he regrets the plight of the civilians caught in the conflict.
Describing the displacement as 'temporary', the former Tamil Tiger turned politician said he expected that it will be the last displacement of civilians.
"It is natural for the civilians to be displaced in a war situation. But I sincerely hope that this will be the last displacement," he said.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 14 August 2009 )|
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