» 09/18/2008, 00.00
Melani Manel Perera
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.
16/09/2008 SRI LANKA
Bishops appeal for aid as thousands are displaced by war
Food, medical treatment and shelter are in short supply. Fighting intensifies, forcing people to flee. United Nations and other aid agencies pull out of war zone after government says it can no longer ensure their safety.
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.”
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.
01/06/2009 SRI LANKA
Authorities call for action against Tamil Tigers’ international network
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.
02/03/2009 SRI LANKA
Government plans "villages" for the 200,000 refugees of Vanni
They are being built in the areas of Mannar and Vavunya, and are being equipped with schools, banks, post offices, and health clinics. According to government sources, the refugees will remain there for at least three years. The temporary measures are being taken to allow the army to restore the areas involved in the conflict.
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