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Expert Witnesses Detail IDP Situation in Sri Lanka

December 17th, 2009

refugees in Sri LankaThree panels of expert witnesses testified on December 10, Humam Rights Day, about current realities facing internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. The government’s recent decision finally to allow the resettlement of displaced Tamil civilians who had been held in internment camps since the end of a brutal war in May was commended. At the same time, concern was expressed about inconsistencies in policies governing the recent releases, continued lack of access by humanitarian organizations (including the UN) to IDPs in resettlement areas and former LTTE cadres in detention centers, the safety of released IDPs and the need for further de-mining of formerly populated areas.

The following Issue experts testified:

  • Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary for Population, Migration and Refugees, U.S. Department of State (Download PDF of testimony)
  • Michel Gabaudan, regional representative for the United States of America and the Caribbean, UNHCR (Download PDF of testimony)
  • Miriam Young, US Counsel on Sri Lanka
  • Christoph Koettl, Amnesty International (Download PDF of testimony)
  • Robert Oberst, Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • Jennifer Leonard, International Crisis Group

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