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Last updated: 30 June, 2009 - Published 15:49 GMT
 
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India 'unhappy' over Lanka IDPs
 
Indian minister P Chidambaram
India says Sri Lanka has 'no plan' for IDP rehabilitation
The Sri Lankan government has "not done enough" for the rehabilitation of displaced Tamil peoples, the Indian government has said.

Indian Home Affairs Minister P Chidambaram told journalists in Tamilnadu that India is not satisfied with Sri Lankan government's welfare programme for Internally Displaced People (IDP).

Speaking in his home town, Karaikudi in southern Tamilnadu, he called on Sri Lanka to allow international observers to visit IDP camps in Vavuniya.

"It is not satisfied to us. They have to allow independent observers such as Red Cross into the camps. They have to allow foreign journalists," Minister Chidambaram said.

Sri Lankan delegation

The senior Indian minister who is an ethnic Tamil added that India conveyed the same message to the visiting Sri Lankan delegation last week.

 Many people are struggling to find food and to get proper health facilities. Instead of helping people in these areas what the government did is announcing elections
 
Vijitha Herath, MP

Senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa visited Indian leaders in Delhi, last week.

Minister Chidambaram said India has already allocated five billion Indian Rupees for the IDPs in Sri Lanka.

"But there is no rehabilitation plan in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is complacent in displaced rehabilitation. We are urging them to rebuild all the facilities for these IDPs," he said.

Sri Lanka said that it has done its best for IDPs in comparision with other places.

Minister in charge of rehabilitation Risath Badiuddeen told BBC Sandeshaya that journalists have been taken to visit the refugees.

Journalists 'allowed'

"Even media institutes that carried false information during the time of war also have been taken to the camps."

Minister Risath Badiuddeen
Minister says Sri Lanka has done its best for the IDPs

Nearly 300,000 IDPs are housed in temporary camps in Vavuniya. Only conducted tours are allowed by the Sri Lankan government and IDPs are not allowed to leave the camps.

Mr Badiuddeen said that the government is keen to resettle the IDPs and is "concerned about their security".

Following the Indian minister's remarks Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) accused the government of calling for elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya instead of taking measures to look after the IDPs.

"Some Tamil people are still looking for their relatives who have disappeared. Many people are struggling to find food and to get proper health facilities. Instead of helping people in these areas what the government did is announcing elections," JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said.

Minister Badiuddeen who rejected the JVP claims said that elections are only held in places "that has no IDPs".

 
 
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