As many as 100,000 war victims displaced by the civil war in Sri Lanka could be resettled in a matter of months, President Maithripala Sirisena said in an interview.
"It is an ambitious target, but I will see that all the internally displaced people are given land to build homes," Sirisena told Agence France-Presse, adding that the process would be completed within six months. Some private land would be released by the military for resettlement in the initiative.
At the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, some 300,000 Sri Lankans had been displaced from their homes, most living in overcrowded government-run refugee camps. Though successive administrations endeavored to close the camps, many Sri Lankans remained displaced.
In July 2015, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center estimated there were some 74,000 refugees still waiting for resettlement in Sri Lanka, many of whom live in host communities. Most are Muslim and Tamil minorities.
President Sirisena, who entered office a year ago, has made a priority of resettling war victims. In December, he made a surprise visit to one of the last remaining camps for internally displaced Sri Lankans, pledging to continue government efforts to resolve refugee issues.
"This is an unacceptable situation. I want to end this problem once and for all," Sirisena said.