The US government is concerned over the rushed resettlement of the final batch of IDPs from Menik Farm due to what it states are inadequacies in infrastructure on the land which it claims was “hastily cleared”.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Colombo, the US further stated that some of the long term IDPs were not able to return home of have access to basic government services.
The U.S. Government recently awarded over $3million to three organizations supporting resettling communities in the Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance awarded funding to ZOA Refugee Care, Sewalanka, and Practical Action to provide the basic needs that many Sri Lankans urgently require. The support will provide help to nearly 50,000 Sri Lankans with basic services such as adequate shelter, access to potable water and proper sanitation, and food security. The programs will also put these individuals on the road to a sustainable future, with support to start generating needed income, and connect farmers and fishermen with markets.
The United States welcomes the work by the Government of Sri Lanka to quickly resettle the large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) following the 26-year conflict. However, we remain concerned about the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp. Many of the most vulnerable families of the war-affected population in the North have been placed on land hastily cleared without adequate shelter, water and sanitation, or provisions to continue their livelihoods. Meanwhile, many long term IDPs remain unable to return home or access basic services from the Government of Sri Lanka. Through its assistance, the United States is helping resettled people move towards a better future and the U.S. Embassy looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Sri Lanka provide the services and care Sri Lankans need.