Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka peace - focus to resettling refugees

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The Government and the LTTE are making good on their peace talk pledges to step up resettlement of displaced people with a committee on humanitarian issues set to meet on Wednesday. The talks will be given weight by the presence of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, an envoy from Japan, the island's largest donor, and Mieko Nishimizu, a top regional official with the World Bank, in addition to delegates from the Government and LTTE.

"Issues relating to the accelerated resettlement programme for the Jaffna District will be the main focus of the deliberations," the Peace Secretariat, the government's body for handling the peace process, said in a statement.

The programme was agreed on at a fourth round of talks between the Government and LTTE in Thailand last week, with both under pressure to show the populace the benefits of peace.

A committee meeting was held in the Kilinochchi, the Government side was led by Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke, who is the head of the Peace Secretariat, and the LTTE was led by its political wing leader, S.P. Thamilselvan. The Norwegian ambassador Jon Westborg was also present at the meeting.