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Sri Lanka keeps refugees in camp that aid built

July 19, 2009

AP – Sri Lanka keeps refugees in camp that aid built

In just six months, one of the world’s largest camps for war refugees has been carved out of the jungles of northern Sri Lanka, complete with banks, post offices, schools and a supermarket. But no one is allowed out, and hardly anyone is allowed in.
Aid workers and foreign diplomats increasingly fear that Manik Farm, a facility they helped build, is actually a military-run internment camp where 210,000 ethnic Tamil civilians displaced by the civil war are being held indefinitely. Government memos and U.N. documents obtained by

The Associated Press, as well as interviews with more than two dozen aid workers, U.N. officials, diplomats and rights advocates, detail how the international community poured tens of millions of dollars into these camps, despite their concerns.
“At best, it is at the edge of all kinds of international principles,” said one Western diplomat based in Colombo, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the government. “But more likely, it is illegal.”

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