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UNHCR in Kilinochchi

UNHCR in Kilinochchi

"Resettlements benefits to first reach the poorest of the poor" -UNHCR in Kilinochchi

In a meeting with Mr. S.P. Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Wing in Kilinochchi today, 22nd April 2004, Mr. Dennis McNamara, Inspector General UNHCR, Geneva said in the context of rehabilitation and resettlement that all benefits should be focused first to the poorest of poor in the community, for the resources are limited and scarce.

At the outset Mr. McNamara briefed Mr. Tamilselvan on the purpose of his visit and wanted to know from Mr. Tamilselvan the current political status in the context of the resumption of peace process and resettlement of displaced persons. He assured that the UNHCR stands firmly committed to assist the returnees and be helpful to them in the process of rehabilitation.

Mr. Tamilselvan responding to the visitor said the Tamil people in the NorthEast have, after a long spell of two decades, exercised their franchise, validating the Tamil mandate for institutionalizing the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) and recommencing of the peace process without any further delay. The government, he said, cannot any further procrastinate on the Tamil national question because the Tamil people have, in one voice, unambiguously expressed what their aspirations are. Commenting further on the constraints the IDPs face in resettlement, Mr. Tamilselvan said that the military atmosphere in the Jaffna peninsula, large chunks of cultivable lands still under military occupation with a High Security Zone classification and the menace of landmines are, among others a formidable challenge to resettlement.

Mr. Dennis McNamara was accompanied by Ms. Vanessa Mattar, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit, UNHCR Geneva, Mr. Martin Loftus, Inter-organisation Unit, UNHCR Geneva, Mr. Peter Janssen, Senior Legal Advisor of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNHCR Geneva, Mr. Neill Wright, Representative, UNHCR, Sri Lanka, Ms. Aurvasi Patel, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR, Sri Lanka, Ms. Maeve Murphy, Associate Executive Officer, UNHCR, Sri Lanka, Mr. Kei Murata, Head of Field Office in Jaffna, Mr. Anicet Ndaisaba, Head of Satellite Office, Kilinochchi, Mr. Edward Benson, Associate Liaison Officer, Kilinochchi.

Associated with Mr. Tamilselvan were Mr. S. Thangan, Deputy Head of the Political Wing, Mr. Thuyavan, Head of the Planning and Development Secretariat and Mr. Thiyagarajah, NGO Co-ordinator of the LTTE.


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