20 July, 2009 - Published 14:19 GMT

UN praises resettlement efforts

The United Nations has praised the joint efforts by the UNDP and Sri Lanka government to help and resettle Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

After a fact finding mission to Manik Farm and Jaffna IDP welfare centres, the UN Assistant Secretary General Jordan Ryan has congratulated the government's efforts, a statement issued by the UNDP said.

"In addition to discussions with the IDPs his visit included consultations with civil and military authorities on ways to accelerate the immediate recovery process in the district and hasten the return of IDPs to their homes," it said.

'Zero tolerance policy'

Mr. Ryan, who is also the Director of UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, has met Senior Presidential Advisor, Basil Rajapaksa, MP, Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe and Rishad Badiudeen and foreign ministry officials.

"With the Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe he discussed the importance of effective protection mechanisms and a zero tolerance policy on harassment to ensure safety and security of all vulnerable populations in the camps," the statement said.

The Sri Lankan government has assured the UN official, who is also the director on UNDP, that the government is fully committed to implement 180-day plan to resettle the majority of IDPs.

The UN has assured its support to the resettlement and recovery plan "as well as initiatives to promote community harmony," according to the statement.