Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stop the lies about Tamil refugees, send them home, Anglican bishop says

From Asia-

Colombo’s Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickrea slammed continuous delays in repatriating Tamil refugees after the war between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels ended back in May.

He said that “co-ordination amongst State authorities” leaves a lot to be desired. Demining and reconstruction, for example, are proceeding at a slow pace.

Yet the government stated that refugees could go home on the condition that they are housed by relatives in conditions of security. For the prelate this patent contradiction is humiliating to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

De Chickrea reminded the government that IDPs are not war prisoners, but people who left their homes for camps on the urging of the military, who put their trust in their promises.

The bishop wants the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration to provide information and clarity on the real situation in the areas once under the control of Tamil Tigers. The government should “demonstrate transparency in its management of the crisis” and in the reintegration of 250,000 refugees, he said.

De Chickrea is concerned about the refugees’ conditions since the “anticipated rain is an added factor that calls for responsible action with speed.”

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