News Category: Vavuniya
  • Land seizure in Vavuniya, says BBS
  •    [ Aug 27, 2014 16:32:46 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today said that politicians were attempting to alter the diversity of population in Sri Lanka by backing the resettlement of one ethnic group in a specific area ignoring others. “Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was also involved in forest annihilation in Willpattu National Park. It seems he is not giving up. We can prove that the Minister is influencing Government officers to evict Tamils from lands in Mullative, Mannar, Vavuniya and Kantale to settle Muslims,” he told a news conference. BBS Chief Executive Officer Dilantha Vithanage charged that their allegation against the Minister was true and they already have the evidence to prove that the Minister was seizing lands by force. [ Full Report ]

  • For Rural Sri Lanka, Ancient Technology Eases Water Woes
  •    [ Mar 13, 2014 12:57:48 GMT ] [ USAID ]

        It is not for nothing that people from rural, drought-prone villages in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya district, a former war zone, say that water is more precious than gold. Less than 5 percent of the district’s residents have running water in their homes. For the rest, fetching water from the closest wells or reservoirs is a back-breaking daily endeavor. Vavuniya is also known for pesticide-, fertilizer- and fluoride-contaminated groundwater. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka braces for more flooding
  •    [ Dec 24, 2012 0:58:25 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        At least 42 people have been killed and nine are reported missing as heavy rains continue to hit various parts of Sri Lanka after more than a week. The Disaster Management Centre says flooding in central, north central and eastern Sri Lanka has displaced thousands, and more than 17,000 people have been housed in 100 relief camps. The Meteorological department forecasts heavy rains to continue for another week, [ Full Report ]

  • Drought hits northern rice farmers
  •    [ Oct 18, 2012 10:21:29 GMT ] [ IRIN ]

        fficials in northern Sri Lanka’s Vavuniya District say 60 percent of the rice harvest could be lost if the dry weather continues. “In Mannar District [in the north] we have records indicating that between 5,000 to 6,000 paddy hectares of the cultivated 10,000 are lost,” Ravi Vinanithambi, an environment officer for the North East Reawakening Programme (NERP - part of the Ministry of Economic Development), told IRIN. [ Full Report ]

  • Infant buried alive and rescued
  •    [ Jun 20, 2012 14:24:03 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        A five day old infant who was buried alive by his own mother was rescued in Vavuniya, the police said. The mother of the infant had lost her husband during the war and she has a seven year old daughter from that marriage according to reports . The vigilant parents of the mother and neighbors who had seen something suspicious were able to rescue the infant the Police said. [ Full Report ]

  • Yayasan Sakti to send humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka
  •    [ Dec 13, 2011 16:36:27 GMT ] [ Bernama ]

        Yayasan Sakti, with the cooperation of the Prime Minister's Department, will be sending humanitarian assistance to victims of Sri Lanka's 30-year civil war which ended two years ago. Its director and Makkal Sakthi Malaysia president Datuk R.S. Thanenthiran said 30 people comprising engineers, doctors and volunteers were undergoing training on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the five-day mission. [ Full Report ]

  • Archaeological evidence to prove ‘Tamil Buddhists’
  •    [ Dec 12, 2011 13:26:23 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said in Parliament today that there is archaeological evidence to prove that ‘Tamil Buddhists’ lived in certain areas of the northern province. TNA MP S.Sritharan said that Buddhist archaeological sites had been discovered in the North after archaeological excavations. “Some elements try to prove that these were the settlements of Sinhala Buddhists in history. Actually, they were the settlements of Tamil Buddhists,” Mr. Sritharan said. [ Full Report ]

  • Calzedonia invests $20 million in new Sri Lankan factory
  •    [ Aug 09, 2011 18:49:25 GMT ] [ Knitting Industry ]

        Italian hosiery, swimwear and underwear manufacturing retailer Calzedonia is investing US$20m in a brand new garment factory in Sri Lanka's northern province of Vavuniya. The new factory will produce garments for the Intimissimi, Tezenis and Calzedonia brands for export to Europe abd is said to be due to begin operations in October 2012. It will employ up to 1500 workers when it reaches full capacity. Calzedonia was founded in 1987 close to Verona, in Vallese di Oppeano, Italy. [ Full Report ]

  • Thirteen dead in fresh Sri Lanka floods
  •    [ Feb 05, 2011 12:34:08 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Renewed rains in Sri Lanka have flooded a large number of towns and villages and killed at least 13 people, officials said Saturday. Heavy monsoon downpours have driven some 800,000 people out of their flooded homes and into state-run welfare centres or to stay with friends and relatives on higher ground, officials said. "The situation in the Eastern, North and North Central Provinces is serious as monsoon rains continue," the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said in a statement. [ Full Report ]

  • 31st night of horror for group of Vavuniya bus depot employees
  •    [ Jan 01, 2011 22:04:28 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The night of December 31st – traditionally a time of good cheer and celebrations – turned into a hideous nightmare for a group of 29 persons travelling from Kataragama to Vavuniya when they were threatened, abused and assaulted by a couple of drunks and their friends. The party – all employees attached to the Vavuniya bus depot – had gone to Kataragama to have a specially built bus blessed. According to Iqbal Awas, one of the victims, the trouble began when the bus stopped in Buttala for a tea break. [ Full Report ]

  • Former Tamil Tiger rebels taste freedom after 16 months
  •    [ Oct 05, 2010 11:11:15 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        In a rare interview, a former member of Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels has been speaking to the BBC about his feelings on being released from 16 months of government detention and rehabilitation programmes. Human rights campaigners condemn the mass detention as an illegal form of collective punishment, and are outraged that the International Committee of the Red Cross is denied access to them. [ Full Report ]

  • Hartal in Vavuniya
  •    [ Jul 27, 2010 9:49:14 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Traders staged a hartal in Vavuniya this morning against the alleged inaction of the police to conduct an inquiry into the abduction and later release of a businessman in the area for a Rs.600,000 ransom. The Vavuniya traders closed shop during the hartal demanding the police to probe the abduction and arrest those responsible. [ Full Report ]

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Tamils
  •    [ Jan 29, 2010 18:30:54 GMT ] [ PR Web ]

        Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and it holds special significance for Tamils because of the genocidal onslaught on our community by the mono-ethnic Sinhala armed forces of Sri Lanka over the past few years. "As there are fewer survivors to tell their stories today, it is of primary importance that these universal lessons be shared with all fellow human beings. Only this will ensure that their legacy will continue to promote respect for diversity and human rights for generations to come." [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's Tamils trudge to polls in first post-war election
  •    [ Jan 26, 2010 11:22:03 GMT ] [ Telegraph ]

        "We walked to vote because we felt it was important after the war," he said. "I was keen to have a say in who should be our next president... We've not had free food and rations for two months and depend on odd jobs to survive." He, like many other Tamils in the highly militarised Tamil-dominated town of Vavuniya, 160 miles north of the capital Colombo, said he would vote for former army chief Sarath Fonseka.Police briefly detained a key opposition lawmaker and 40 of his supporters who were driving through Vavuniya heading to the northern peninsula of Jaffna where a bomb attack was reported early Tuesday. "This is intimidation and a clear attempt to block us from trying to prevent irregularities in Tamil areas," Vijitha Herath told reporters. [ Full Report ]

  • Containers filled with much needed IDP aid finally headed to Vauniya
  •    [ Oct 23, 2009 16:35:24 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        After going through much red tape and delays the 884 tons of aid sent through the Captain Ali vessel almost five months ago, finally set off to Vauniya today evening. This was after the goods were cleared off from the port by the relevant authorities and the convey of 27 containers filled with the good were flagged off by the Disaster Relief Service Minister M. S. Amir Ali, Mr. Surein Peiris, Deputy Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) told Daily Mirror Online. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka: Health situation in Vavuniya district.
  •    [ Sep 25, 2009 1:43:39 GMT ] [ MSF ]

        As of today, 246’000 people who fled from the Vanni remain inside camps in the Vavuniya district and there are concerns about the future situation in the coming monsoon despite the ongoing effort mobilized. Regarding health care provision, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health have mobilized significant resources from all over the country to provide health care in the camps deploying doctors and nurses in 24 health structures, and therefore considers MSF medical assistance in the camps unnecessary. Some primary health care facilities have been set up in camp zones and a referral system has been implemented gradually since February. MSF teams are currently working in three hospitals outside the camps. [ Full Report ]

  • Mixed results in Sri Lanka polls
  •    [ Aug 09, 2009 3:52:05 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        In the first elections in northern Sri Lanka since the end of the country's civil war, the governing coalition has had mixed results. It suffered a surprise defeat in Vavuniya, but initial results suggest it won in the region's biggest city Jaffna. BBC correspondent Charles Haviland was forbidden to travel north for the elections but sent this report from Colombo. [ Full Report ]

  • Campaigns end ahead of Sri Lanka's first post-war polls
  •    [ Aug 06, 2009 21:34:59 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Campaigning for Sri Lanka's first post-war polls ended Thursday, and the government resettled more than 3,000 who people who fled the final offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka Saturday will hold a vote in Uva province, and two polls in the towns of Jaffna and Vavuniya to elect local councilors. The latter are the first in 11 years in the towns on the periphery of the area formerly controlled by the separatist Tamil Tigers. Unlike polls last year in the Eastern Province after the military drove the Tigers out, campaigning for those in Vavuniya and Jaffna has gone on without violence. [ Full Report ]

  • Will Sri Lankan voters choose stability?
  •    [ Aug 05, 2009 11:11:25 GMT ] [ UPI ]

        Elections to the Jaffna and Vavuniya town councils in Sri Lanka will be held on Saturday. Although local, and limited to a small population, the elections are important from a larger political perspective, as they will enable the government to respond to international pressures to follow up its military victory with a political solution to the ethnic situation. The government has pledged to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which devolves power to elected provincial councils. Although the prevailing provincial council system is widely seen as weak, the establishment of a provincial council for the Northern Province offers some evidence of forward movement in the direction of a political solution. [ Full Report ]

  • Reporters barred from Jaffna, Vavuniyaa during elections
  •    [ Aug 04, 2009 11:29:14 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        Sri Lanka will not allow reporters into Vavuniyaa and Jaffna to cover the local government elections to be held there on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. “The government did not give a reason for banning reporters, but it cites security reasons for denying entry to any outsider,” AP reported. The towns are accessible with Defence ministry permission and “even residents can't leave without permission,” AP report said. Meanwhile, an elections watchdog, PAFFREL (People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections) said there seemed to be little public interest in the polls as people were preoccupied with the plight of their relatives in government’s military-run internment camps. [ Full Report ]

  • Justifying a Costly War in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jul 19, 2009 4:20:06 GMT ] [ New York Times ]

        More than 2,000 years ago, a Sinhalese king named Dutugemunu saddled up his elephant and headed north to fight and kill Elara, an invading Tamil king from India. The battle between the men is one of the most celebrated moments in Sri Lankan history, and the last time, until two months ago, that a Sri Lankan ruler won such a decisive victory over a mortal threat. Perhaps it is no wonder, then, that fans of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka, have taken to calling him a modern-day incarnation of King Dutugemunu. [ Full Report ]

  • ADRA Commences Water Operations in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jul 15, 2009 16:58:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        In northern Sri Lanka, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) recently initiated emergency water trucking operations to provide water for personal hygiene use for up to 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps in the town of Vavuniya. ADRA is the only humanitarian agency in Sri Lanka that owns and operates a drilling rig for borehole drilling, and has extensive experience in several water and sanitation activities, including water tank installation, hand pumps, hand dug wells, water disinfection units and water trucking. [ Full Report ]

  • Editorial: Tamil Camps
  •    [ Jul 15, 2009 13:34:36 GMT ] [ New York Times ]

        More than two months after declaring victory over Tamil Tiger guerillas, Sri Lanka’s government is continuing to hold hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil civilians in what it calls “welfare villages,” but what increasingly look like military internment camps. The civilians, many of whom were held hostage by the guerrillas in the bloody last stage of the long war, are not being allowed out of the camps, and access by human-rights organizations or journalists is highly restricted. The government claims it is looking for Tamil Tigers among the refugees and clearing Tamil villages of landmines before letting people return. [ Full Report ]

  • After influx of wounded, Sri Lanka's hospitals are overflowing with patients
  •    [ Jul 15, 2009 12:03:14 GMT ] [ MSF ]

        Seven weeks after fighting ended between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tiger rebels, fewer patients are arriving at the hospitals, but their numbers still exceed bed capacity. .Working in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières medical teams in Vavuniya district have performed more than 5,000 surgeries over five months, most to treat conflict-related injuries. Activities are currently focused on post-operative care (minor surgery, dressings and physical therapy) and hospitalizations for displaced persons. [ Full Report ]

  • Facilities inadequate in Lankan IDP camps: Doctors
  •    [ Jul 13, 2009 12:00:53 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Doctors treating displaced Tamils in the government-run welfare camps in Sri Lanka's north have written a letter to Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa complaining about the inadequate facilities and shortage of medical staff. "It is difficult to stay in these shelters. The doctors examine patients from 7 o'clock in the morning to 7 o'clock in the night (in the Menik camps in Vavuniya). They need a proper place to sleep. The doctors do night shift. They are virtually alone there. There is no adequate nurse or staff members," a representative of the doctors told mediapersons in Colombo. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils Now Languish in Sri Lanka Camps
  •    [ Jul 13, 2009 3:13:23 GMT ] [ New York Times ]

        When the piercing whistle and sharp thuds of artillery shells grew faint, S. Theventhran dashed to safety. After days of cowering in a narrow, open trench on a strip of beach in the northeastern corner of Sri Lanka, he was cheered by the sight of Sri Lankan Army soldiers helping wounded and terrified survivors of the last stand of the Tamil Tiger rebels, who had held nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians hostage. More than two months later, Mr. Theventhran, a 56-year-old Tamil civil servant, finds himself once again a captive, this time of the people who freed him from the Tigers’ grip. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan political parties set up offices in north
  •    [ Jul 07, 2009 10:22:43 GMT ] [ Xinhua ]

        Signifying the return to normalcy in Sri Lanka's second largest northern town of Vavuniya, five political parties have set up offices there, party officials said in Colombo Tuesday. The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance, the main opposition United National Party, as well as three Tamil parties, including Eelam People's Democratic Party, Tamil Eleam Liberation Organization and Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students, all set up their offices in Vavuniya as part of their preparations to face the Vavuniya Urban Council election scheduled for Aug. 8. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka sets date for first post-war polls
  •    [ Jun 25, 2009 10:57:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka on Aug. 8 will hold elections for the first time since declaring victory over the Tamil Tigers last month, the government said on Thursday. The local government polls will take place in Jaffna and Vavuniya, two cities that were at the periphery of the territory controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for most of the 25-year separatist war. The upcoming elections are aimed at entrenching a civilian administration in an area wracked by war for decades. Both municipalities last held elections 11 years ago, and the election date will coincide with a provincial-level poll in the southern province of Uva, the Elections Department said. [ Full Report ]

  • IDPs 'suffering from eye diseases'
  •    [ Jun 22, 2009 23:49:00 GMT ] [ BBC Sinhala ]

        The health ministry in Sri Lanka says that over 4000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Vavuniya camps are suffering from eye diseases. Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Palitha Maheepala told BBC Sandeshaya that there seems to be an increase in eye diseases among the Internally displaced in camps. "We have found that IDPs are suffering from bad eye sight, cataract and eye sore. The ministry is taking special measures to treat and advise the IDPs," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • UN says two staff members arrested in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jun 20, 2009 11:42:41 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        The United Nations said on Sunday that two of its employees working among tens of thousands of war-displaced civilians had been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities. The two men, both ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils, were reported missing eight days ago and were subsequently discovered to have been taken into custody by Sri Lankan officials, the UN office in Colombo said in a statement. "We are not aware which, if any, charges have been laid, and nor are we aware of the details of any accusations," the statement said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Tamil detainees still held in terrible conditions
  •    [ Jun 20, 2009 11:40:33 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        Despite legal challenges by detainees and expressions of concern by UN and international aid agencies, the Sri Lankan government is continuing to hold nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians indefinitely in huge internment camps. Not only are the detainees denied their basic legal and democratic rights, but now face growing dangers of disease. Only a handful of elderly people and young children have been released from the camps, with the government insisting that the vast majority must remain behind the barbed wire fences until the military can weed out supporters of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [ Full Report ]

  • Govt. seeks election deal with EPDP, DTNA
  •    [ Jun 15, 2009 11:12:43 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The government said yesterday it hoped to accommodate the EPDP led by Douglas Devananda and the Democratic Tamil National Alliance (DTNA) led by V. Anandasangaree at the elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Municipal Council under the betel symbol. “No purpose is severed by digging up the past. If we do so, too many skeletons will surface,” he said and added that their mayoral candidate for Jaffna would most likely be V.K.V. Sivagnanam. “There are others too and I won’t rule out the possibility of an MP contesting this election,” Mr. Sri Kantha said. [ Full Report ]

  • Fire in Lanka military camp triggers blasts
  •    [ Jun 09, 2009 21:16:32 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        A fire broke out at a military ammunitions dump in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, triggering a string of explosions, police said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The explosions reverberated around the town of Vavuniya, 260km (160 miles) north of Colombo, a local police official said by telephone. He said they suspected an accidental fire at the armoury may have triggered the explosions. [ Full Report ]

  • Inside the Manik Farm detention centre
  •    [ Jun 09, 2009 1:46:37 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        Manik Farm is about 30 kilometres from the northern town of Vavuniya. It is the biggest camp established by the army, housing more than 160,000 Tamil refugees. They fled from the last strip of territory held by the LTTE after facing constant shelling by the military. One reaches Manik Farm only after the harrowing process of passing through several army checkpoints. What one sees is a huge open prison with men, women, children, the elderly and the injured. It is behind barbed and razor wire fences and guarded by heavily armed security personnel. There are rows and rows of small tents or rooms made of aluminum seats or wooden planks. Basic facilities like water and sanitation are inadequate. [ Full Report ]

  • Sarath Nanda Silva condemns 'internment' of Sri Lankan Tamils
  •    [ Jun 05, 2009 23:46:20 GMT ] [ The Times ]

        Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice has lambasted the Government publicly for holding more than 280,000 Tamil civilians against their will in military-run camps, questioning the legality of their detention. Sarath Nanda Silva, who retires at the end of the month, chose the opening of a new court complex for his attack on the policy of interning Tamil civilians. “They live outside the protection of the law of the country,” the country’s top jurist, an ethnic Sinhalese, said of the camp dwellers. “I am saying this in public, and ready to face any consequences. We are doing a great wrong to these people.” [ Full Report ]

  • 19 Sri Lankan refugees rescued
  •    [ Jun 04, 2009 4:23:36 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Nineteen Sri Lankan refugees from Mannar and Vavuniya, including five of a family, were rescued by Indian naval personnel today from the fifth isle near here in two separate operations, naval officials said. R N Sharma, Naval area commander, told reporters here that they received information from fishermen here about a refugee family of five members lying unconscious in a boat off the fifth isle. Naval personnel then proceeded ed to the spot and rescued them early this morning. They were given first aid at the naval office here before being handed over to police, he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Treating the wounded and medical emergencies remains a priority
  •    [ Jun 03, 2009 11:49:46 GMT ] [ MSF ]

        "The current restrictions on access to the camps is limiting and slowing are ability to respond to the medical needs of the internally displaced persons,” said Severine Ramon, MSF coordinator in the MSF field hospital. Over the last few weeks, while tens of thousands of people have emerged from the Vanni, the former conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka, MSF teams have been working alongside Sri Lankan Ministry of Health staff providing surgical and medical care to people who were caught up in the fighting. The situation remains extremely worrying inside the hospitals and among the 269,000 displaced people in Vavuniya District. More than 500 wounded patients are receiving daily medical care in the three hospitals where MSF teams are working together with the Ministry of Health staff. [ Full Report ]

  • In War Torn Northern Sri Lanka, Camps Strain Under Pressure
  •    [ Jun 03, 2009 3:54:10 GMT ] [ ADRA ]

        While Sri Lanka’s decades long civil war appears to have come to a sudden end, an ongoing humanitarian crisis is expected to worsen in overcrowded camps holding thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) unless unfettered access is given to aid organizations, said the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). ADRA plans to provide assistance through partnerships with the Adventist International School in Vavuniya and local non-governmental organizations. “ADRA is well-positioned to provide the assistance that is so desperately needed,” said Millie Castillo, public relations and communications officer for ADRA Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Disease outbreak in Sri Lankan camps imminent, says Christian Aid
  •    [ Jun 01, 2009 10:32:10 GMT ] [ Christian Today ]

        There is an urgent need to ward off outbreaks of disease among the hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil victims in relief camps, an international Christian development agency forewarned. One of the UK's leading humanitarian and development charities, Christian Aid, has cautioned that with hundreds of new arrivals flooding into the camps everyday, the camps are ‘an epidemic waiting to happen’. Robin Greenwood, the director of Christian Aid’s Asia programme, warned, "a combination of monsoon rains, poor drainage and over-crowding is the ideal breeding ground for diseases like cholera and typhoid.” [ Full Report ]

  • Agony, uncertainty for Sri Lanka's war displaced
  •    [ May 28, 2009 3:25:41 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        A young mother shows a picture of her missing baby, last seen injured and screaming as her family dodged shells and bullets to escape the final battle between Sri Lankan troops and the Tamil Tigers. A relative handed over the bleeding two-year-old Shrivachandran Jeyshan to soldiers for medical treatment. It's been three weeks, and no one knows which hospital he was taken to, or even if he survived a head wound. "Can you help us find the baby?" pleads his father Ratnam Rasiah. The mother sits next to him, sobbing. [ Full Report ]

  • Hidden from the world.. innocent captives of terror
  •    [ May 27, 2009 22:19:43 GMT ] [ News of the World ]

        THEY squat in a circle, grinding their tiny hands nervously into the mud behind the six foot high barbed wire fence that imprisons them. And their little eyes stare wide open in fear at what lies on the other side. Around the infants and their families in the grim surroundings of the Pulmoddai refugee camp in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, the soldiers sit, each one ten yards apart, their AK47 assault rifles trained at the 6,000 terrified refugees huddled inside. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankans divided by war: Tamils trapped in internment camps tell of desperate hunt for loved ones
  •    [ May 26, 2009 22:36:33 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        The three children standing in the dirt outside the tent in Sri Lanka's newest internment camp have not seen their mother for weeks, ever since a shell exploded next to the bunker where they had taken cover, ripping a hole in er stomach. Medics rushed 29-year-old Sandi to a makeshift hospital, where doctors operated to save her life. All that Sandi's husband, 33-year-old Yogisuran, and the children – Thuyamthini, Kuwanthini and Thusiyanthini – know is that she was later evacuated on a ship by the International Committee of the Red Cross. They have not seen her since, and trapped with tens of thousands of others in the Menik Farm camp they are powerless to do anything about it. [ Full Report ]

  • 200,000 Tamil civilians imprisoned in Sri Lankan Manik Farm camp
  •    [ May 24, 2009 22:54:13 GMT ] [ The Times ]

        “We are in an open jail,” Kumar whispers, his skinny shoulders shaking as he looks around to check who is watching “Help us, we want to be free.” He is one of about 200,000 Tamil civilians being held against their will behind the razor-wire coils that surround Manik Farm, the largest displacement camp in Sri Lanka — one of the largest in the world. Camp is not the word its inmates use for it. A prison and a concentration camp were two of the descriptions The Times heard on a rare visit to the camp on the sidelines of the visit by Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General. [ Full Report ]

  • Families trapped in Sri Lanka camps fear for missing children
  •    [ May 22, 2009 2:59:22 GMT ] [ The Independent ]

        In a world where people had lost everything, she held up the photograph as if it were the most precious thing imaginable. It showed a young boy, no more than three years old, dressed in a blue and white outfit. It was Shanmugam Saraswathi's grandson Manimaran, and she had no idea where he was. "Please help me find him," she said, as she held up the picture. Ms Saraswathi – a Tamil civilian who fled the war zone in Sri Lanka's north and is now being held at a refugee camp near the city of Vavuniya – is not alone. [ Full Report ]

  • Claims Of Abuse In Sri Lankan Refugee Camps
  •    [ May 21, 2009 11:52:53 GMT ] [ Sky News ]

        There are numerous reports of sexual assaults in the government-run camps, and claims that groups of young men are being rounded up and taken away. United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon will demand unfettered access to the camps during his visit to the country, as well as access to other areas which have been off-limits to aid workers and journalists for months. More than 40 camps have been set up to cope with more than 200,000 people left homeless by the long-running conflict. The people inside the camps are kept behind barbed wire and are not allowed to leave. [ Full Report ]

  • 2,80,000 displaced civilians living in poor conditions in Lanka
  •    [ May 21, 2009 11:31:15 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        The number of displaced civilians in Sri Lanka's north has reached 280,000 with up to 80,000 people escaping from the conflict zone in the last three days alone, the United Nations refugee agency has said, seeking "urgent attention" to mitigate their plight. Expressing concern over condition in the camps set up for people displaced by recent fighting in Sri Lanka, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said some 230,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been screened and registered and are currently accommodated in 41 sites spread across four districts. [ Full Report ]

  • Eyewitness account of Sri Lankan detention camps
  •    [ May 21, 2009 11:11:55 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        In Vavuniya itself, refugees have been housed in 23 small detention centres established in public schools and other government buildings. Every camp is packed with between 1,000 and 3,000 people. We were able to visit two schools. Both centres were guarded by armed policemen and soldiers. Barbed wire fences have been set up around the camps. Few people are allowed inside. The media is completely barred. At one school, we could only see the faces of people as we spoke to them across a high, razor-wire topped wall. As we spoke to one person, two children began crying, asking us to take them away from the camp. Inside, up to 40 people are crammed into each school room. Small tents have been erected in school grounds. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamil children 'being abducted'
  •    [ May 20, 2009 23:04:23 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        A number of children in camps for people displaced by Sri Lanka's Tamil conflict have been abducted, international human rights groups say. The groups say they have verified reports of disappearances in the Vavuniya area and are calling for the United Nations to investigate. Suspected former Tamil Tiger child soldiers are said to have been removed by paramilitaries for questioning. A Sri Lankan military spokesman denied the groups' allegations. A spokeswoman for the groups, Charu Lata Hogg, said the motives for the abductions were unclear but some children were being questioned about alleged links to the Tamil Tiger rebels, or LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). [ Full Report ]

  • A race against time in Sri Lanka's camps
  •    [ May 15, 2009 10:36:10 GMT ] [ CARE International ]

        I didn't notice anything different about her, at first; 10-year-old Priyana is a beautiful, perfect little girl, and her face lit up as she smiled at me. Then she moved her hands. Thick bands of scar tissue circle her tiny wrists; her right hand is bent at an impossible 90-degree angle from her forearm. When she wrapped her arms around her mother's waist in a hug, her hands hung limply. I don't know what affects me more: her injuries, or how she was injured. She and her 24-year-old sister, Vithiya, were playing a game when they were caught in the crossfire in January. Shrapnel shredded through Priyana's wrists and thigh, and Vithiya's right leg. [ Full Report ]

  • Grim picture emerges from Tamil camps
  •    [ May 08, 2009 11:51:18 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Tamil refugees have been sexually assaulted by soldiers and dead bodies ignored at a Sri Lankan displaced persons camp that lacks food and water, camp aid workers told Britain's Channel 4. Sri Lanka's consul general in Toronto, Bandula Jayasekara, rejected the assault allegations as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam propaganda and British television sensationalism. Though the United Nations and several aid groups say thousands of Tamil refugees at government-controlled camps are malnourished, Jayasekara also denied that any are hungry or thirsty. Aid groups claiming as such, he said, were merely trying to boost their fundraising. [ Full Report ]

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