Opposition asks Elections Commissioner to intervene in resettling IDPs
With Presidential and Parliamentary elections expected in early 2010, the Opposition wants at least 75% of around 200,000 IDPs remaining in northern refugee camps to be resettled in their original homes by the end of this month.
An Opposition delegation headed by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya,which called on the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake on Friday, had asked him to raise with the government the importance of speedily resettling the majority of 200,000 IDPs stuck in makeshift camps.
"We requested the Elections Commissioner to ask the government to resettle at least 75% of the remaining IDPs in their original homes by the end of November", Jayasuriya told the Sunday Island. "As the government is speaking in terms of holding Presidential and Parliamentary polls in early 2010, the IDPs need to be back in their villages in time to vote without any undue pressures being applied on them."
He said that if the majority of the IDPs continued to remain in refugee camps during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections such a situation would not be conducive for the conduct of free and fair polls.
"The need to supervise the State media, which is violating all norms of responsible journalism and distorting the truth, was also raised", he said. "Among the other issues that we pointed out was the State media’s refusal to accept Opposition advertisements in clear violation of the principle of justice and fairplay."