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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Conditions in Sri Lanka Refugee Camps Worsening

July 20th, 2009

Waiting for Water at Manik Camp

Waiting for Water at Manik Camp

According to a report by the associated Press in Colombo, conditions in the refugee camps in northern Sri Lanka are seriously worsening. In a report dated Sunday July 19th, AP said “in June, chicken pox was rampant and cases of typhoid, tuberculosis, skin and respiratory infections, hepatitis A, scabies and diarrhea have begun cropping up, according to U.N. reports. More than 35 percent of children under 5 are suffering from wasting, or acute malnutrition, according to a July 3 government presentation.”

The camps were set up in January to house refugees from the war between the government military and the now-defunct LTTE. Some 300,000 people, including two Oblate priests, are being held in the camps with no freedom of movement. Few people, including NGOs, are able to get into the camps, and fewer still are allowed to leave. Families, separated by war, are unable to reunite. Thousands known to have or suspected of links with the LTTE have been removed, according to the government, for ‘rehabilitation’. Reports of torture and disappearance of suspected LTTE have been frequent.

Read the AP story…

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