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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Sri Lankan refugees return
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says more than 100,000 Sri Lankans displaced by the civil war have now gone home.

Their return has been made possible by the current ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north and east of the country, which has restored freedom of movement across former front lines.

The majority of the refugees have gone back to the government-controlled northern Jaffna peninsula, which had been cut off by the fighting.

The UN says around 30,000 people have also returned to rebel-held areas.

In a further sign of confidence in the ceasefire, Sri Lankan officials say 500,000 Roman Catholic pilgrims have visited the rebel-controlled town of Madhu to take part in the country's biggest Christian festival.

It's the first time in two decades that people have been able to visit the shrine in such large numbers.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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