Sri Lanka is a police state
The Australian : Tamil refugees fleeing Sri Lankan police state
Amanda Hodge, South Asia correspondent | October 21, 2009
FIVE months after the Sri Lankan government crushed the Tamil Tigers separatists and ended Asia’s longest-running civil war, refugees are still pouring out of the country and washing up on the shores of sympathetic countries such as Australia and Canada.
Why, when peace has finally come to a nation dogged by 26 years of civil war, would so many people choose to leave behind their country and possessions and risk their lives on a perilous sea crossing to an uncertain future?
The easy answer lies in the swampy internment camps of the country’s north, said to hold somewhere between 250,000 and 280,000 war-traumatised Sri Lankans behind barbed wire while the government weeds out suspected Tamil Tigers soldiers from civilians.
They have no jobs and no money. Most have lost their houses, their identification cards and loved ones. Thousands of children have missed out on months of school.
As northern Tamils who lived for years under the parallel government of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the separatist group which once controlled more than one third of the country, all are suspected terrorists until proven otherwise. More