More on SL Camps: “Deeply Distressing”
Rapidly built up for the Tamil refugee influx last spring, Menik Farm has pylons, banks, even cash machines – and thousands upon thousands of tents in the cleared arid lands west of Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka.
Since my earlier visit in April, the camp has swollen to cover some 10 zones, the number of camp-dwellers has ballooned to a quarter of a million, while over 20,000 have been resettled or more informally released, the government says.
This was the BBC’s first chance to view all this infrastructure close-up.
A government intensely sensitive to outside criticism or suggestions, and wary of any outsider’s intentions in wanting to visit the camps, was now giving the BBC admittance, alongside the UK’s Development Minister, Mike Foster. That in itself seemed like notable progress.
And yet, just five minutes of conversation with the camp-dwellers was deeply distressing.
This article appeared in Sri Lankan media. Please note we cannot verify the independence of the information in this report.
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