Continuing misery of Sri Lanka's camps
[TamilNet, Monday, 07 September 2009, 17:16 GMT]
Two months after Aljazeera compiled a dossier of information highlighting what the broadcaster described as “shocking and disturbing” conditions in Sri Lanka’s militarised internment camps, nothing has changed. Reporting in late July, Aljazeera noted that what the Colombo government calls “welfare camps”, critics have called “the world’s biggest open air prison”. TamilNet is revisiting Aljazeera’s July report, which set out the substantial material about camp conditions compiled by the broadcaster despite the govenrment’s restrictions, to highlight the ongoing misery of the camps’ inmates.
Aid agencies sounded the alarm to the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinater even before the war was over, that "current conditions in Menik farm are not only a violation of IDP's fundamental rights to freedom of movement, education and livelihoods, they are also failing to adequately fulfil rights on basic access to food, shelter and water," Aljazeera said.
Over 220,000 people are held in overcrowded and poor sanitary conditions in the six-zones of the Menik farm camp, while minimum international standards - outlined by the Sphere Project – would allow for a maximum of 140,000 people in the cramped space, the report said.