The Straits Times
Published on Sep 25, 2012

Sri Lanka shuts war-time refugee camps after $442m resettlement


COLOMBO (AFP) - Camps which housed 300,000 displaced people by the end of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict have now all closed, three years after the war ended, the military said on Tuesday.

Once one of the world's biggest camps, the final batch of 361 families left Menik Farm in the northern district of Vavuniya on Monday, military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasekera said.

International rights groups described camps such as Menik Farm - the last to shut its doors - as internment facilities. They were strictly off-limits to journalists and private charities until recently. Authorities called them "welfare camps" to shelter civilians.

"As of last evening, Menik Farm is formally closed because there are no more internally displaced people," Mr Wanigasekera said.