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Journos write what they can amidst SL ban on media coverage

February 13, 2009

India’s The Sunday Indian Editor-in-Chief reports:
It is a systematic genocide under the garb of war on terror in Sri Lanka!

The Times reports:
Robert Evans, a Labour MEP who has visited Sri Lanka as chairman of the European Parliament Delegation on Relations with South Asia, said: “These are not welfare camps, they are prisoner-of-war cum concentration camps.” Human Rights Watch called the camps “detention centres” and said that they violated UN guidelines on internally displaced people, which say they can only be detained or interned under exceptional circumstances. “The Sri Lankan Government has not demonstrated that such circumstances exist,” said Charu Hogg, a Human Rights Watch spokeswoman.

The Economist reports:
In government-controlled areas, civilians are registered, “sorted” and placed in camps. Their movement is restricted and they are watched closely for suspicious activity. They are also uncertain of their fates at the hands of an army that has to root out rebels lurking among them. The authorities say they will eventually be resettled but that security concerns must be dealt with, “for everyone’s sake”.

America’s ABC News reports:
Sri Lanka’s army disbanded the mostly ineffective “safe zone” it had established in the war-wracked north and set up a new refuge Thursday for the tens of thousands of civilians still trapped.

The New York Times reports:
“We don’t know what happened to our family,” said Mohan Raj, 22, whose arm was shattered by shelling on Feb. 8. “I don’t know who attacked us,” he said. His mother and two siblings disappeared after a loud explosion, he said. His father stood at his bedside on the verge of tears.

The wife and child of Sellathora Thavakumar, 22, were killed by bombs from what he said was a Sri Lankan Air Force jet…A Catholic nun interviewed by Reuters said she was shot in the leg by Tamil Tiger rebels when she was trying to escape with civilians…The army has tried to block access to refugees in camps and the wounded at hospitals. Officials reluctantly allowed this reporter access to the hospital, which is heavily guarded by the police, on condition that he not take photos or video.

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