TRO raises refugees plight on World Refugee Day

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 June 2007, 03:51 GMT]
More than 750,000 people are currently internally displaced, and the conflict in Sri Lanka has resulted in over one million Tamil refugees leaving the island, said the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), in a press release issued Wednesday marking the World Refugee Day held to honor of the 14 million global refugees. TRO release highlighted the plight of the 24.5 million conflict Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) worldwide displaced by conflict.

PDF IconWorld Refugee Day: TRO Press release
"Those that have left the island of Sri Lanka and found refuge in other countries are protected by the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, but there is no similar convention or system of international protection for IDPs. As a result the plight of the IDPs in the NorthEast is left to the “goodwill” of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). Military offensives over the past 18 months by the GoSL have been the primary cause of the displacement of 300,000 IDPs," the release said.

The TRO said that it "wishes to raise awareness of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. The situation is critical and worsening by the hour. TRO would like to emphasize that it is the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka to protect, uphold and enforce the national and international humanitarian standards and International Humanitarian Law. These include not using food and medicine as a weapon of war."

TRO and TRO supported Community Based Organizations (CBOs) currently care for or provide humanitarian assistance for 85,000 of these IDPs despite the obstacles, restrictions and embargoes imposed by the GoSL, the TRO said in its press release.

 

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