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Sri Lanka: Protect the 300,000 war displaced

Amnesty International press release

by sacw.net, 20 November 2008

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Amnesty International, 19 November 2008

The humanitarian crisis in the Wanni region of northern Sri Lanka is worsening as the government fails to provide shelter and protect over 300,000 displaced civilians.

Tens of thousands of families are now enduring the monsoon season with limited food, shelter, water or sanitation. They fled their homes to escape the fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the opposing Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

These civilians are trapped in the LTTE-controlled Wanni region. The Tigers continue to forcibly recruit one person per family with recent steep recruitment of younger people. The LTTE have hindered people from moving to safer places by imposing a strict pass system.

In some instances they have forced family members to stay behind to ensure the return of the rest of the family. The LTTE also controls the movement of displaced people within the Wanni. These measures seem designed in part to use civilians as a buffer against government forces.
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