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    » 06/01/2009, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Authorities call for action against Tamil Tigers’ international network

    Melani Manel Perera

    Sri Lankan foreign minister calls on Asian countries to help Sri Lanka prevent the reorganisation of the LTTE, dismisses accusations of genocide against Tamils as “propaganda”. The plight of refugee remains a sore point with overcrowded camps and sanitary facilities at a breaking point.
    Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Sri Lankan government wants the help of the international community to dismantle the Tamil Tigers network abroad. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) outside the island remained “largely intact.”

    Speaking at a high-level Asian security forum in Singapore, the minister said that “many of the operatives have clearly cultivated powerful, political lobbies in certain capitals with a view to resurrecting the LTTE”

    This appeal comes at a time when Sri Lankan authorities are concerned that hundreds of rebels might have escaped to India.

    Colombo wants the international community to take the right steps to ensure the final defeat of the Tamil Tigers.

    At the same time Mr Bogollagama dismissed genocide allegations against the Sri Lankan military as LTTE propaganda, “well-fabricated” so as “to discredit the Armed Forces as well as to embarrass the government of Sri Lanka.”

    In the meantime in Vavuniya conditions remain desperate for 280,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    According to Caritas Sri Lanka, which is providing assistance in all four refugee camps in the north, overcrowding (6-7 people per bed) and lack of water and sanitary facilities have reached a breaking point.

    Equally tensions between refugees and local communities have risen over the use of schools to provide shelter to IDPs.

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    See also

    09/09/2009 SRI LANKA
    Military prepared to release Tamil refugees if family ready to house them
    People with relatives in refugee camps can get them out if they are ready to house them. The government allocates US$ 1.1 million for refugees. De-mining former war zones is not yet completed.

    08/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    Government bans Tamil Tigers
    The unanimous decision by cabinet brings the situation back to 2002, before peace talks began. Health minister says that ban does not preclude talks.

    29/07/2009 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lankan government asks Caritas for assistance to help 10,000 refugees
    The Catholic charity is now helping 83,000 war victims. In order to cope with the new request it will use funds from donations the Pope put aside for humanitarian aid.

    18/09/2008 SRI LANKA
    More than a hundred thousand helpless refugees flee fighting between army and Tamil rebels
    The Asian Human Rights Commission releases a damning statement about helpless refugees. Army and rebels are told to respect communication lines and allow “neutral areas” where refugees can find shelter and help.

    12/06/2009 SRI LANKA
    Jaffna bishop tells government that refugees must go home as soon as possible
    About 300,000 refugees are still living in dismal conditions. The United Nations, the Red Cross and Caritas are the only humanitarian organisations allowed inside the camps, all other NGOs are off-limits. For the Venerable Thero, a Buddhist monk and head of the Vipassana Meditation Centre, “Sri Lanka does not need foreign plans or advice. We won the war and we did it by following our own plans.”



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