War and displacement!

– The Sudar Oli Editorial

(September 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The number of displaced people has been increasing day by day following the military operations, artillery attacks and air raids.

UN agencies have reported that a tragic situation has arisen and an additional 3000 families could be displaced. It is revealed that 18,970 families comprising 74,119 people have been displaced since June this year. The total number of people displaced in Killinochchi including these people has gone beyond 134, 000.

Thousands of the displaced people live in open spaces under trees and in bushes. They need 7000 temporary sheds to house these displaced people temporarily. But, there is hardly any indication that such assistance could reach Vanni.

It is a disturbing feature that even the 10% of the basic needs of the refugees in Vanni can be met. In fact, UN agencies, International Red Cross Society, Amnesty International and Non- Governmental Organizations are in a state of preparedness to assist the refugees. But, it is said that conditions laid down by the government stand in the way of these organizations extending their help.

It is unfortunate that while unleashing a war in Vanni, the government places obstacles in humanitarian help reaching the unfortunate people. Therefore, all such impediments should be removed and the basic needs of the refugees must be met.

A considerable number of displaced people have been displaced more than once. There are reports that they are prepared to be displaced again. The Mullaitheevu Government Agent has cautioned that this situation can worsen with the rainy season.

Because of the economic ban that is imposed, there is a scarcity for food in Vanni. There is a dearth of milk foods for children. There is a shortage of medicines. How can the displaced people cope up with such a situation? It is hurting that the international community maintains a silence over this unfortunate development!

(An English translation of the Editorial in The Sudar Oli, a Tamil daily based in Colombo. )
- Sri Lanka Guardian