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UN political chief voices concern about displaced after wrapping up visit to Sri Lanka

Source: United Nations News Service

Date: 18 Sep 2009

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Government-run camps in Sri Lanka lack basic rights of freedom of movement, and the country is not making the expected progress towards a lasting peace in the wake of the end earlier this year to fighting between military forces and Tamil rebels, the United Nations political chief said today.

B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told a press conference in Colombo at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka that the UN and other concerned parties had not observed the progress expected after the conclusion of fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May.

More than 280,000 IDPs now reside in camps in the north of the country, and Mr. Pascoe said he was concerned about the closed nature of those camps and the lack of freedom of movement for their inhabitants.

He urged the Government to allow those IDPs who have completed the screening process to leave the camps as they choose, and for those people remaining to be able to exit the camps during the day and to freely meet with family and friends in other sites.

On the last day of his visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Pascoe held talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, senior Government ministers, military officials, opposition leaders and Tamil politicians. During the meetings the Under-Secretary-General discussed the situation of the IDPs as well as human rights accountability and political reconciliation. Yesterday he visited some of the camps to obtain a first-hand view of the situation.

4 Comments

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I hope Mr.Pascoe had fun tour.....how was the beaches! how was the food!...how about the gifts!
When is the next UN (useless nations) guy's tour planned?
:-)

Posted by: aratai | September 20, 2009 08:37 AM

The sheer injustice of detaining 280,000 people in camps without any charges has led to protests from many quaters over the last few months. However the Government does not heed and continues to spin out various reasons and time frames for their release.

Also no progress has been made on the political front as the Government continues to hold elections and meddles with the affairs of the Eastern Provincial Council.

On the economic front the Government continues to live on borrowed money and is heaping unbearable burdens on the people. One wonders how long this fiasco is going to last and when the bubble will burst.

Posted by: Citizen | September 20, 2009 08:54 AM

Sometimes I wish the GoSL just let these IDPs go immediately and Frog-marched them back to their villages via the quickest pssible path... making sure to film the entire thing - especially the parts where these Hapless IDPs get Blown Sky-high by LTTE Laid Land mines... We should show this to the world on YouTube as part of the TAMIL DIASPORA GAG-REEL... We can all just have a good Chuckle as Tamils pick up the pieces of their Relatives off the floor of the North...

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | September 21, 2009 02:46 PM

Devinda, dear Devinda:

What is the liquid that runs within you? I know you'll say its blue blood.

And which part of your anatomy is your so-called brain located, man! One day you are say you are not against the Tamils and here the whole thing comes out - once again - in untrammeled raw form.

That's OK, buddy. Tamils will survive. We have survived worst mental cases before.

Take care. Tomorrow usually comes.

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | September 22, 2009 07:11 AM

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