Repatriation of refugees stopped by UNHCR intervention
[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 May 2006, 18:33 GMT]
Intervention by officials of the UNHCR in Sri Lanka and representatives from the Norway Refugee Council has stopped temporarily efforts by the Puttalam District Secretariat officials to force 114 refugees from 29 families who were displaced from Thambalagamam in Trincomalee to Udappu in Selvapuram Puttalam to return to their villages, civil society sources in Puttalam said. Families fled their native Thambalagamam due to fear for their lives, artillery attacks by the security forces and escalating levels of violence in Trincomalee.
Saturday in a meeting between the Head of Puttalam Police, and representatives of UNHCR and Norway Refugee Council, it was decided that only after careful review of the ground conditions in the native villages of the refugees the administrative officials will decide on the fate of the refugees, Puttalam district UNHCR representative Ms Suhanya said.
Meanwhile, reports say attempts are underway to send back refugees from Trincomalee who had reached Mannar.
Adminstrative officials have rejected the reports as untrue.