Règle correspondante
Sri Lanka
Practice Relating to Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
36. The former Special Representative of the [UN] Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict Mr. Olara Otunnu was invited by the Government to visit Sri Lanka in May 1998, to add strength to the advocacy campaign against child recruitment … The LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] made the following commitments in relation to children in armed conflict to Mr. Otunnu during his meeting with the LTTE[:]
(b) The LTTE … agreed to not impede the movement of displaced people to the cleared areas. This involved a commitment by the LTTE not to prevent the return of the displaced Muslim population, which include many women and children, from returning to their homes, and accepted that a framework to monitor this process should be introduced …
37. These commitments were not implemented by the LTTE. 
Sri Lanka, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 February 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/LKA/1, submitted 16 June 2008, §§ 36(b) and 37.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2011, in the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, Sri Lanka’s Government stated:
Internal displacement in Sri Lanka predominately stems from man-made conflicts as well as natural disasters. With the end of the long term internal conflict the Government’s commitment towards the protection of rights of the displaced civilians has been granted the high priority.
The rehabilitation and reconstruction of devastated economic and social infrastructures in conflict affected areas, was given high priority. With the aim of speeding up the development efforts in those areas, a special 180 day Accelerated Development Programmes namely “Negenahira Navodaya” and “Uthuru Wasanthaya” were implemented. As a result of strong effort with the help of donor communities and other local and international stakeholders, 70% of the de-mining process has been completed. Following the de-mining and the rehabilitation process, resettlement of IDPs [internally displaced persons] in their original places has been completed and at present 2,187 families alone are left to be resettled. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, 2011, p. 121.
In a table entitled “Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)”, the Government also stated:
Focus area
1. Policy, institutional arrangement and coordination
Goal
1.1 A comprehensive protective framework and mechanism for displaced persons through the adoption of a National Policy on Displacement
Issue
1.1.c Need to enhance current legal, procedural and policy framework to better protect the rights of internally displaced persons including the right to housing restitution
Activity
Develop a legislative framework of IDPs’ rights, and the right to non-discrimination between:
1) classes/categories of IDPs[,] and
2) IDPs and other citizens/persons, and
3) the right to housing and restitution. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, 2011, p. 122.
In 2012, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence issued a press release entitled “Demining process nearing completion – Northern Governor”, which stated:
The de-mining process in the North is nearing its successful completion as lands would be cleared-off, for the resettlement of the remaining displaced people [IDPs] by the end of July, said Northern Governor Maj Gen (Rtd) G.A Chandrasiri said yesterday (May 29).
Both the resettlement and de-mining processes are to be concluded in record time the Governor asserted with all praise for the government officials, security forces and other non-governmental agencies involved. …
There are only 2,562 IDPs in the Kadirgamar Welfare Centre and another 3,469 at Anandakumaraswamy Welfare Centre. The Governor stated their resettlement was delayed due to the delay in the demining process in their villages. The demining process of Shinanagar, Pudukudirippu West, Mullaithivu would be completed by May 31.
The same process in Pudukudirippu East, Ambalavan Poppanei, Mandavil, Mullivaikal West and Anuradhapura is scheduled to be completed by end of July.
Governor Chandrasiri said with the completion of de-mining Sri Lanka will be an IDP free country. He added that yet the de-mining process will have to continue for another 3 to 4 years to secure the Mahaveli area which was heavily mined. He added these areas will be released for cultivation. 
Sri Lanka, Ministry of Defence, “Demining process nearing completion – Northern Governor”, Press Release, 30 May 2012.
In 2012, in a section entitled “LLRC Final Report: Reconciliation” of its National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, which also includes a section entitled “Theme area: International Humanitarian Law Issues”, Sri Lanka’s Government stated:
Recommendation
9.195, 195 Facilitate the early return of the displaced Muslims to their places of origin in the Northern Province. Take immediate steps to assist in rebuilding of the mosques, houses and schools destroyed or damaged by the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam].
Activity
Formulating and implementing a policy for the resettlement and reintegration of the displaced Muslims. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 26 July 2012, p. 11.
In 2012, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Sri Lanka stated:
Post-conflict developments
29. Several significant measures were taken by the GoSL [Government of Sri Lanka] to protect the civil and political rights of those that were affected by the conflict with particular attention being paid to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
1. Resettlement
30. One of the principal challenges the GoSL faced was the resettlement of approximately 300,000 IDPs displaced by the conflict. As the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] had laid antipersonnel mines, antitank mines and created obstacles using different types of Improvised Explosive Devices in towns and villages as they retreated from the military, it was not feasible for civilians to immediately return to their original places of inhabitation after the conflict ended. The places they had been displaced from were no longer safe for human habitation. As a result, the civilians had to be looked after by the Government at newly created welfare villages while every effort was taken to demine areas in which their homes were located.
2. Demining
36. In total, mines were suspected to have been laid in more than five thousand square kilometers (5000 km²) of land. Mine action activities are implemented by the GoSL through the Sri Lanka National Mine Action Centre (SLNMAC) that has been setup at the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) to coordinate and fast track the de-mining process. The National Steering Committee for Mine Action (NSCMA) acts as the decision making body on mine action through SLNMAC in collaboration with respective institutions and agents.
37. The demining programme was carefully conceived, and priority areas were chosen to maximize efficiency and enable the speedy return of the internally displaced. The first priority was to demine the towns and villages. The second priority was to demine the plantation areas and paddy fields. The last priority was accorded to the forested areas. Approximately 94% of the areas identified for demining have been cleared. Work only continues in areas where there was a very high concentration of mines. The extent of the problem the Government faced in this regard can be clearly seen from the sheer number of mines and other devices unearthed and neutralized during the demining process. Another less than 116 square kilometers of territory remains to be cleared. Priority has been given to clearing residential areas in villages identified for resettlement and livelihood purposes. Demining was principally undertaken by the Sri Lanka Army approximately 75% together with support from international and local partners including certification of de-mined areas being undertaken by the UN.
38. Reconstruction was expedited in parallel with the demining efforts. Soon after the Humanitarian Operation ended, His Excellency the President appointed a Presidential Task Force for Reconstruction and Resettlement. This Task Force implemented a 180-day crash programme for resettlement. In addition to demining, reconstruction activities including the restoration of infrastructure, the renovation of roads and utilities, improvements to irrigation and rebuilding of houses were carried out. The Government spent a considerable sum of money on this effort, which was instrumental in enabling a large number of displaced civilians to return to their homes within six months of the end of the conflict. 
Sri Lanka, Fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 31 January 2013, UN Doc. CCPR/C/LKA/5, submitted 29 October 2012, §§ 29–30 and 36–38.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2011, in the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, Sri Lanka’s Government stated:
Internal displacement in Sri Lanka predominately stems from man-made conflicts as well as natural disasters. With the end of the long term internal conflict the Government’s commitment towards the protection of rights of the displaced civilians has been granted the high priority. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, 2011, p. 121.
In a table entitled “Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)”, the Government also stated:
Focus area
3. Return and Resettlement
Goal
3.4 Non-discriminatory land-allocation
Issue
3.4.a Application of head of household concept discriminating against women in land allocation in displacement
Activity
Allocate land under joint ownership except in cases where original sole ownership can be established.
Establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure non-discriminatory land allocation. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, 2011, pp. 124–125.