The Sri Lankan Government will set up a national welfare centre in the country’s war-ravaged north to uplift Tamil families headed by women or the victims of the nearly three decades-long civil war in the country.
The national centre will be located in Kilinochchi, the former LTTE administrative centre, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said today.
The decision was taken following a request made by the northern people to set up the centre in Kilinochchi where most women had lost their husbands in the conflict.
“It is a well known fact that most suffered persons due to a war are women and children. In the north alone there are nearly 50,000 families that are headed by women. They are made destitute due to their inability to provide food, accommodation and educational needs to their children,” Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement.
Based on a UN report on women-headed households, Wickremesinghe has appointed a committee to look at ways to uplift social and economic conditions of women-headed households.
Since coming into power, the government has taken significant steps to bring normalcy in the north.
The government has returned some military-acquired land to original Tamil owners. A travel restriction for foreigners travelling to the north imposed by the previous Mahinda Rajapaska regime has also been lifted.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who defeated former strongman Rajapaksa in the polls earlier this year, received overwhelming support from the Tamil and Muslim minorities in the elections.
According to UN estimates, up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by security forces during former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime that brought an end to the nearly three decades-long war in the country with the defeat of the LTTE in 2009.(Outlook)