The Tamil Tigers, in order to hamper the progress of the Sri Lankan security forces, laid mines in vast regions of territory which were once civilian settlements. According to the Sri Lankan government, the resettlement of civilians can only take place once these areas are cleared.
Reuters reports that 2000 civilians have been allowed to move back to their homes. These were civilians who have been living in camps for the displaced for the last two years. They were the first to be displaced by fighting two years ago.
COLOMBO, June 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka sent more than 2,000 people back to their home villages in the island nation's northwest on Tuesday, two years after they were displaced by the war with the Tamil Tiger separatists.
Tuesday's resettlement is only the second to happen since Sri Lanka's military finished off the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and declared total victory in a 25-year war on May 18.
Sri Lanka now has nearly 300,000 people living in refugee camps, and has pledged to resettle the bulk of them in six months -- a tall challenge given the thousands of landmines that have to be cleared across formerly LTTE-held areas.