Q&A: What is fate of civilians trapped in Sri Lanka' war

Article Date: 
13 Mar 2009

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights on Thursday warned both sides in Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war may have committed war crimes and that the loss of life could be catastrophic if there is no pause in the combat.

Here are some questions and answers about civilians trapped in the war:

HOW MANY ARE TRAPPED?

According to the Red Cross, about 150,000 people, but the government says there are no more than 70,000. Nearly all are in a 12-km (7-mile) long strip of coconut groves on the coast, which also has water on the inland side and is no wider than a half-kilometre. The army has declared the area a no-fire zone. Aid agencies say food and clean water is in short supply but the government is bringing it in by boats sailing under the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Article Author: 
C. Bryson Hull
Article Source: 
Reuters