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90,000 displaced Lankan Tamils return home

Source: PTI
November 11, 2009 17:42 IST
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The International Organisation for Migration has helped about 90,000 displaced Tamils, lodged in the Menik Farm camps in Vavuniya, to return to their towns and villages in northern Sri Lanka.

The IOM helped the civilians, who were lodged in the camps since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, to return to their homes in Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, which have been cleared of landmines.

"The returns, in hundreds of IOM-chartered buses, were funded by the UK's Department for International Development and Australia, and at one point reached 4,000 people in a single day," an IOM press release said.

IOM's Sri Lanka chief Mohammaed AbdiKer said the organisation was planning to work with the international community and the Sri Lankan government to help the displaced civilians rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, the IOM, with 1.3 million dollars of funding from Australia, has provided the government's humanitarian de-mining unit with 220 mine detectors, helmets and other safety equipment.

Part of the money is also helping the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action to hire more de-mining teams, the IOM release said.
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