South African human rights activist visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 June 2003, 14:11 GMT]
An activist from the South African Human Rights Commission, Mr. Nagendran Kolappan, arrived in Jaffna Tuesday morning and held discussions with the representatives of Humanitarian Agencies, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, People’s Organizations and local media persons at the Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, sources said.

Representatives of Jaffna Humanitarian Agencies and other organizations briefed the visiting human rights activist about the ground situation in Jaffna since the ceasefire agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam came into force, the sources said.

The representatives pointed out that hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Tamil families are still languishing in welfare centres and refugee camps, as their own homes and agricultural lands are still occupied by the Sri Lanka Army in the name of high security zones.

The Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is without adequate staff and other facilities to handle human rights affairs in the peninsula, the representatives said, and told Mr. Kolappan that action should be taken to strengthen the administration of the Jaffna HRC office to deal with the human rights situation, sources said.

Mr. Kolappan said that in South Africa, the human rights commission is well armed and very powerful in finding solutions to human rights problems.

According to Mr. Kolappan, the people of South Africa expect the present peace talks in the island to succeed.

 

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