Only 94,000 of the 300,000 refugees remain in camps in Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan government press release states that only 94,000 of the 300,000 Tamil refugees remain in camps for the displaced.

15,000 people are being resettled every week, and as a part of the resettlement program each family is given $400, cooking utensils, and building material.

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The government is helping families engaged in the agriculture industry in the north and has set a target to cultivate 10,500 acres (4,250 hectares) of rice fields this season, the governor said. The main growing area around Mannar in the northwest has been cleared of mines, the government said last month.

The so-called Mannar rice bowl produced a record harvest in 1991 before falling to 23rd out of 27 growing areas listed by the government before the region was captured from the Tamil Tigers in June 2008.

While Sri Lanka in July received a $2.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the end of the civil war has boosted agriculture and tourism that will help the country’s $41 billion economy. The central bank forecasts it will grow as much as 6 percent next year after expanding about 3.5 percent in 2009.

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