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BBC In Pictures: Inside Sri Lanka's vast refugee camp

Photos: by Charles Haviland, BBC, Colombo, Sri Lanka

This sick man has gone from one medical facility to another. His wife says there is no room for everyone to sleep in the tent, so she has rigged up an improvised shelter for him outside.

Menik Farm camp in northern Sri Lanka still houses some 240,000 Tamils displaced by war. The government says just over 20,000 have been allowed to leave. Others are being vetted for security reasons.

Families live two or three to a tent. There are fears the dwellings may be damaged in the monsoon but the authorities say drainage systems will prevent that.

Children under 10 are allowed to leave Menik Farm but their parents and older children are not.

Some extended families live together; others have found themselves separated from their close ones.

Water is rationed and people told the BBC there is not enough for drinking, let alone bathing. The government says it is doing its best given the massive influx.

While security screening continues, the vast majority of the camp-dwellers are still stuck inside, unable to work and with almost nothing to do.



Let us go, we know how to take care of our selves and we can live a better life than this and educate our children better for brighter future least. Please let us go free.

Let me say say one thing, DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE "July 1983" and I hope if we are all human of one nation!? Hope you all believe these people are human, they are not like animals?

Posted by: Siva | October 9, 2009 12:45 AM

Nobodies people? Maybe Ealam will be their only hope.

Posted by: Gamarala | October 9, 2009 04:14 AM

I would like to request Charles Haviland to visit
some of the shanti dwellers in Colombo and vicinity
and take some photos. Please compare the situations
in both places and publish the photos.

Posted by: Kaluyaka | October 9, 2009 05:03 AM

I am convinced! Mahignda Rajapakse is more deserved than Barrack Obama for the Nobel Prize!!

Posted by: Ranjo | October 10, 2009 01:12 AM

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