THe Sri Lankan army killed and injured tens of thousands of Tamil civilians earlier this year in their brutal war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Hundreds of thousands more have been rounded up and imprisoned in Nazi-style concentration camps. Over 250,000 people are suffering in appalling conditions, crowded into tents, with inadequate water and sanitation, and a chronic lack of food and medical supplies.
At least 40 people die every week in the camps. Even by the government’s own admission, at least 31,000 children are being kept in these camps. There is only one toilet for every 200 refugees. 30% suffer from malnutrition. There are no adequate medical facilities available and diseases, such as jaundice, are spreading fast. The possibility of an even greater humanitarian catastrophe looms with the monsoon season threatening flooding and the overflowing of the primitive sewage systems, spreading deadly diseases throughout the camps. This is an outrage.
Despite the horrific conditions there are reports of riots against the authorities in the camps. Recently Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) treated children wounded in shooting by soldiers. Nobody has been brought to justice.
These prison camps must be shut down and all internally displaced persons (IDPs) must be freed immediately.
peter Taaffe general secretary of the Socialist Party, has campaigned and written about the struggle of workers and the poor in Sri Lanka for many years, and has visited Tamil areas in Sri Lanka.
Janani paramsothy organiser of protests in Parliament Square
nagarjunan (ramesh Gopalakrishnan) South asia researcher for amnesty international and well-known Tamil writer.
Senan international coordinator for Tamil Solidarity
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