Only 20,000 refugees remain, Sri Lanka tells India

October 15th, 2010 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Sri Lankan has informed India that only 20,000 out of nearly 300,000 people displaced by the war remained to be resettled in the country, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Friday.

Briefing the media after holding talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris, Krishna said Colombo had also pledged to work towards devolving powers to the minorities in Sri Lanka.

“We discussed the rehabilitation of IDPs (internally displaced persons). He informed me that the number of IDPs has come down to 20,000,” Krishna told journalists, alluding to his talks with Peiris.

Krishna said he raised the issue of devolution of powers. “They said their efforts are directed towards it,” he said.

Peiris also discussed the forthcoming visit of Krishna to Sri Lanka towards the end of this month, probably from Oct 27 to 31.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians, overwhelmingly Tamil, were huddled into refugee camps after the Sri Lankan military crushed the Tamil Tigers last year, decimating the rebel leadership.

Since then, Sri Lankan authorities have allowed camp inmates to return home in batches.

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