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Executive Committee Chairman in Sri Lanka

Briefing notes

Executive Committee Chairman in Sri Lanka

10 February 2004

The chairman of UNHCR's Executive Committee, Ambassador Jean-Marc Boulgaris of Switzerland, is visiting our operations in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Boulgaris on Monday met with Sri Lanka's president, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga, and other high-ranking government officials, He will also meet with UNHCR staff and visit our field offices in Jaffna and Kilinochchi to get a first- hand impression of UNHCR's work on the ground. Ambassador Boulgaris is scheduled to visit projects benefitting recent returnees who have gone back to their homes. following the 2002 cease-fire agreement that put an end to civil war.

By the end of 2003, 345,734 displaced persons, or 90,217 families, had returned to their homes since the ceasefire began in early 2002. This represents 47% of the 730,000 people estimated to have been displaced when the ceasefire commenced.

The remaining 53 per cent are still displaced. One quarter of them, or 92,062 people, are living in welfare centres.