1000 people have died in the camps
In what’s surely one of the more remarkable fact-finding missions in recent years, Sri Lanka’s attorney-general Mohan Peiris is heading to Washington for meetings with the US defence establishment. His goal? Learning to emulate the US’ treatment of captured Islamic militants!
Now, there’s not too many contexts in which anyone would point to Guantanamo Bay and say, gosh, we’d like one of those. Then again, there’s not too many nations that currently keep a quarter of a million people detained indefinitely in camps.
In Sri Lanka, an appalling human rights tragedy continues to play out. After the wake of the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers (an organisation undoubtedly responsible for its own atrocities), 250,000 Tamils have been herded into detention. Here’s how the Guardian describes one such internment facility:
“The camp, say former inhabitants, is packed, with two or three families sharing a tent or tin shack. There are complaints of stinking, overflowing toilets, water shortages and inadequate healthcare. Journalists are rarely given access and those inside Manik Farm are not allowed to cross its fortified perimeter.”