01 October, 2009 - Published 17:25 GMT

SL Govt. welcome UN recommendations

Sri Lanka says it accepts much of the United Nations' recommendations on its handling of quarter of a million Tamils held in refugee camps.

Authorities in Sri Lanka detained Tamil Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) since the end of the decade’s long civil war, six months ago.

Walter Kaelin, the representative of the United Nations secretary-general on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, who toured the detention facilities urged the government to restore the freedom of movement to internally displaced persons.

Professor Rajiva Wijesinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights told BBC Sandeshaya, “We can’t remove the people in haste”.

International assistance

“However, we welcome his understanding that it would be better if we act fast as we can whilst not forgetting the security issues” he added.

The secretary said the government has informed that it is trying to do it as soon as possible.

“Now we are receiving international assistance to clear land mines, which was not available few months ago” Rajiva Wijesinghe pointed out.

Speaking to AFP, Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe pledged the government would address recommendations made by Walter Kaelin.

"It is a very positive statement. We take these things in the right spirit" minister said.

Walter Kaelin spent five days visiting the camps and holding talks with officials in Sri Lanka. The UN representative asked the country to comply with its international obligations.