Sri Lanka: Brian Senewiratne on the humanitarian crisis facing the Tamil people
October 22, 2009 -- Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Queensland -- In September 2008, the government of Sri Lanka ordered all aid agencies (including
the UN agencies) to leave the ``northern war zone'' -- inhabited by Tamils -- of Sri Lanka. Socialist Alliance member Brian Senewiratne explains the history of Sri Lanka and the attacks on the oppressed Tamil people of the north and east.
Following the Sri Lankan government's war on the Tamil people in 2008, UN agencies had been delivering food and medical aid to nearly 160,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), i.e. refugees, in the Vanni, the Tamil area just south of the Jaffna Peninsula. There were 13 aid groups in the region, providing emergency food aid, clean water and sanitation to some 200,000 people living in refugee camps and under trees in this area. All agencies except ICRC, the Red Cross, left. A humanitarian crisis is now unfolding.
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