19 Sep 2009

Timetable issued for resettlement of refugees in Sri Lanka

7:25 am on 19 September 2009

The Sri Lankan government has set out a timetable for the resettlement of people displaced by the war against the Tamil Tigers, which ended in May.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said he expects 265,000 Tamil people to be resettled by the end of January.

He said that arrangements are being made for the refugees to get day passes from government camps where they reside so that they can go to work.

Mr Rajapaksa told a United Nations envoy he expected the resettlement to be complete by the January deadline.

A statement on the government website said he was also sticking to the government's target that most of them - he gave a figure of at least 70% - should be out by late November.

According to United Nations figures, nearly 265,000 people remain in camps. Fewer than 15,000 have so far left.