Sri Lanka: Vanni IDPs and IDP camps in Mannar and Vavuniya
Journalists have been barred from Northeast Sri Lanka for more than two years while aerial bombing combined with intense shelling has been driving hundreds of thousands around from village to village and from district to district. As the world has been watching the reporters report the pathetic state of IDPs in the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, reporters including Roland Buerk(BBC correspondent), are stationed in Colombo 'reporting' the news dished out by the Sri Lankan government or what the Tamilnet reports.
Some civil societies based in Colombo have been making fact-finding missions to various parts of the Northeast over the last two years and have been giving a glimpse into the plight of residents and IDPs trapped there. The Mission to Mannar in April 2008 reported how IDPs from Vanni are forcefully kept in snake-infested camps with insufficient food ration. The Mission to Vavuniya in September 2008 reported that the government prepares camps for impending exodus of IDPs from Vanni and that IDPs would be forced to stay there. The Mission also reported that residents in Vanni have no freedom to move out of Vanni and are living under a cloud of torture/rape, abductions and killings. Mission to Trincomalee reported how Tamil IDPs have been suffering.
The world has been marking the tenth anniversary(GP10) of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement last month while many of those principles are being violated in Sri Lanka and the IDPs are starving and shivering with only the sky over their heads.
The Indian government has shown that it can only send pots and pans but cannot have a policy on Justice to Tamils because it will lose the support of Sri Lankan government in its strategy of maintaining regional power if it 'interferes' in the 'sovereignty' of Sri Lanka.
There is an obligation on the part of the EU, the most powerful economic and political body in the world at present, to press the Sri Lankan government to stop military assaults at once to end the sixty-year genocide of Tamils and to negotiate a just solution to the conflict.
What You can Do
Please write to your MP. Ask them to press the Sri Lankan government to stop military assaults at once to end the sixty-year genocide of Tamils and to negotiate a just solution to the conflict.
You can contact your MP at www.writetothem.com