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So much for ‘resettlement’ ...

A year and a half after the end of Sri Lanka's war, this is what senior UN relief official Catherine Bragg found after visiting the Vanni region this week:

Most of the returnees [in the North] currently have limited access to basic services such as shelter, water and sanitation and health care.

These communities remain extremely vulnerable and have critical humanitarian needs that we must address immediately.”

“However, those who have been released [from camps] now face a daily struggle to rebuild their lives, and have to start from scratch.

There is nothing left. They are going to need schools and teachers, hospitals and doctors, and basic social services.

“It’s my observation that there are significant and immediate humanitarian needs resulting from the recent flooding in the east, as well as the ongoing needs in the former conflict areas of the north.”

See UN news reports Thursday and Friday on her visit.

In this context, see recent reports on schools and child labour in Vanni; and exploitation of female labour and the government's withholding of relief grants in the north generally.

See also reports on the closure of ICRC and UN agencies' offices in the north, and blocking of resettlement' in Jaffna: Valikamam north and Navatkuli (see also this).

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka state media said this month: "98 percent of the resettlement activities have been completed [and] civil activities are returning to normalcy."

Photo Eelanatham.com

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