|Akashi commends efforts by the Government to improve the facilities for IDPs|
|Wednesday, 01 July 2009 11:40|
Japan’s Special Representative for Peace Building, Rehabilitation & Resettlement who was on a short visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to address the inaugural session of the ‘Sri Lanka Economic Summit’ met with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on 30th June 2009 at the Ministry.
Welcoming the visiting Special Envoy, the Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continued support for the demining activities in the North. Minister briefed Akashi on the on-going plans for the expeditious resettlement of displaced persons in their original places of dwelling and on the revival of the democratization process in the North by holding local government elections.
Referring to the meeting with the President earlier on the day, Ambassador Akashi noted that the discussion was encouraging and progressive. He commended the efforts taken by the Government to improve the facilities for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are sheltered in welfare villages and IDP camps in the North.
Recollecting his previous visit to the Island, Ambassador Akashi expressed his admiration for the progress he had witnessed at the welfare villages. While acknowledging the enormity of the task to be undertaken by the Government in demining and normalizing the living conditions of the IDPs, he urged the Government to expedite the process of resettlement.
Foreign Minister Bogollagama, while acknowledging the need for further improvement in the facilities in welfare villages and IDP camps, emphasized that it is the Government’s priority to look into the needs of the displaced persons and assist in restoring their livelihood.
Foreign Minister elaborated on the efforts taken by the government to rehabilitate the ex-combatants at the rehabilitation centres in various parts of the Island and welcomed assistance from Japan in this regard.
Referring to the political process Foreign Minister Bogollagama stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is fully committed to a political process that will lead to a lasting solution to the conflict including implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Further the Minister assured that the Government will take all measures to overcome any obstacles in this regard. Foreign Minister Bogollagama acknowledged that Japan is truly a “development partner” in the people oriented agenda of Government of Sri Lanka.
Akashi assured Japan’s support for Sri Lanka’s efforts in bringing a lasting solution acceptable to all Sri Lankans.
Foreign Minister Bogollagama emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to a wider engagement with the friends of Sri Lanka based on mutual respect and understanding in its development efforts and noted that Japan would be able to play a leading role.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1st July 2009