United Nations

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200,000 Tamil civilians imprisoned in Sri Lankan Manik Farm camp

Article Date: 
25 May 2009

Camp is not the word its inmates use for it. A prison and a concentration camp were two of the descriptions The Times heard on a rare visit to the camp on the sidelines of the visit by Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General.

Squalor is less the defining feature of Manik Farm than militarism. The presence of armed soldiers around the camp and its perimeter is overwhelming. New armoured patrol vehicles sit at the entrance to the side of a sandbagged bunker.

Article Author: 
Catherine Philp
Article Source: 
Times of London

U.N.'s Ban says Sri Lanka needs help for refugees

Article Date: 
23 May 2009

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon toured Sri Lanka's biggest refugee camp Saturday and said the country did not have the resources to deal with the tens of thousands who fled fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Ban told Rajapaksa the U.N. and other international humanitarian agencies needed immediate and unimpeded access to camps that are housing 290,000 people who escaped rebel-held areas as a military onslaught bore down on the separatists.

Article Author: 
Louis Charbonneau
Article Source: 
Reuters

Tigers begged me to broker surrender

Article Date: 
24 May 2009

IT was a desperate last phone call but it did not sound like a man who would be dead within hours. Balasingham Nadesan, political leader of the Tamil Tigers, had nowhere to turn, it seemed.

“We are putting down our arms,” he told me late last Sunday night by satellite phone from the tiny slip of jungle and beach on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka where the Tigers had been making their last stand.

Article Author: 
Marie Colvin
Article Source: 
Times of London

Sri Lanka president defiant over war crimes allegations

Article Date: 
22 May 2009

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday brushed off calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by government troops in their offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels.

In a defiant speech delivered just hours before the arrival of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the president said he was even "ready to go to the gallows" as a consequence of defeating the separatist guerrillas.

Article Author: 
Mel Guanasekera
Article Source: 
AFP

Sri Lanka Defends Refugee Aid Program as Ban Visits

Article Date: 
22 May 2009

“Sri Lanka has provided a satisfactory service to the people of the north even before it was cleared of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” Athula Kahandaliyanage, secretary to the Health Ministry, said in a statement. “Those who are ignorant of such efforts should at least try to see what is happening at ground level before making irresponsible statements.”

Article Source: 
Bloomberg

On Sri Lanka, of Human Rights, Victors and Doctors Still Detained, Ban to the Zone

Article Date: 
20 May 2009

Wednesday in the UN, the main political adviser of a Security Council Permanent Member which supports Colombo's moves told Inner City Press, “Why are you going? The government has already won.”

When Inner City Press countered that the UN should be concerned about hundreds of thousands of IDP, now being denied basic aid, he replied that of course the government must screen for the LTTE. But are the NGOs whose vehicles are now barred from the camps accused of being LTTE? To this, he had no answer.

Article Author: 
Matthew Russell Lee
Article Source: 
Inner City Press

U.N. Presses to Enter Sri Lankan War Zone

Article Date: 
21 May 2009

In his strongest public comments since the war's end, outgoing U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake said the United States supports an investigation into alleged human rights abuses during the final phase of the conflict. Foreign ministers of the European Union have asked for an independent inquiry into allegations that both the Tamil rebels and government forces violated international human rights agreements.

Article Author: 
Emily Wax
Article Source: 
Washington Post

Aid Agencies Denied Access To IDP Camps In Sri Lanka

Article Date: 
20 May 2009

U.N. aid agencies say they are being denied access to some camps for displaced people in northern Sri Lanka, hindering their ability to help Tamil civilians displaced by the recent fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The U.N. refugee agency says the number of civilians who have fled the fighting in northern Sri Lanka over the last few months has now reached 280,000. This includes an estimated 80,000 people who have left the former combat zone in the last three days.

Article Source: 
Voice of America

In Sri Lanka, UN's Ban Says He'll Visit Conflict Zone, Doctors Still in Custody

Article Date: 
19 May 2009

Sri Lanka's conflict zone, off limits to aid workers and journalists as civilians were being killed, will be visited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the accompanying Press on May 23, it was announced on Tuesday. Speaking in Geneva, Mr. Ban told reporters that “I expect that I will be able to visit the conflict zone, which the Sri Lankan Government officials told me had been liberated. I would like to have my first hand, on the spot, assessment of the situation myself. I am going to discuss this matter with President Rajapaksa.”

U.N. demands full access to Sri Lanka refugees

Article Date: 
19 May 2009

"People are arriving into camps sick, malnourished and some with untended wounds of war," UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman said in a written statement. "... Water and sanitation needs are critical."

About 65,000 people have fled what had been the fighting zone in northeast Sri Lanka over the past few days, the United Nations said Monday, bringing to 265,000 the number of internally displaced people.

Article Source: 
CNN
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