Freedom of sought, at last?
Some 3 lakh Tamils were housed in the refugees camps after the final stage of the government's military operations that defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May.
Nearly 7,000 Tamils out of the 1.28 lakh refugees in camps for the Internally Displaced Persons in Vavuniya, located 260 kilometers north of Colombo, were allowed to leave the camps to meet their relatives after being registered with the authorities for the purpose.
Text: T V Sriram in Colombo for PTI
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Image: Lankan Tamil IDPs react when they hear news that they can leave the camp at Vavuniya
'IDPs are now free to leave without any conditions'
There will be no restrictions imposed on the duration of their absence from the villages from Tuesday, said Risath Bathiyutheen, the minister of resettlement and disaster relief services.
The government has declared that civilians will be free to leave the villages once they have given their personal details to the authorities concerned.
Image: Soldiers stand guard near IDPs at the Vavuniya camp
'All efforts would be made to resettle them'
All civilians of the Vavuniya welfare village from the Jaffna peninsula and Eastern Province have already been resettled, an official statement said.
The military defeated the LTTE in May, ending their 25-year violent struggle for an independent state for the minority Tamils.
Image: IDPs look over a fence as they stand inside a camp in Vavuniya