Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monsoon in the Sri Lankan concentration camps

I saw a massive flooding in the Indian states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has at least 230 people dead and more than 10 million survivors homeless. I think it’s going to be a hell in the Sri Lankan concentration camps when NE monsoon starts.
Some Sri Lankan newspaper said that the SL government has taken rapid action in the construction of the drainage system there.

However the images from the BBC are contradicting that.

As you see the, the drainage system is very shallow and utterly inadequate.

The camps occupy vast tracts of formerly forested land near the northern town of Vavuniya. Because the ground on which many of the camps were built was cleared of trees recently, the soil is soft and porous.

The flimsy tents in concentration camps don’t stand a chance...

Many aid groups worry that the hastily built camps will not survive the inundation. Few months ago, he rain fell heavily for much of the afternoon , sent rivers of mud cascading between tightly packed rows of flimsy shelters, overflowed latrines , which have collapsed, sending human waste spilling all over camp. HR groups urged Sri Lanka yesterday to free 300,000 Tamils detained in camps since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May, warning that an outbreak of disease triggered by imminent monsoon rains could claim dozens of lives.
Mike Foster, the UK Minister for International Development who is visiting Sri Lanka, also said that Britain would no longer provide any funding for the controversial barbed wire enclosures once the monsoon was over in two months.
He added that many other donor countries were taking a similar position to put pressure on the Government to release the 300,000 Tamils who were detained after fleeing the frontline. “There’s a pressing need, with the monsoon impending, to get civilians out of the camps,” Mr Foster said after visiting two of the camps before meetings with Sri Lankan officials in Colombo yesterday. He said the monsoon, which is due to start this month, was almost certain to destroy tents already fraying after six months. “Disease, if it takes hold, is going to spread rapidly. Without doubt there will a loss of life,” he said. “Given that there are 300,000 people living so close together, I’d hazard a guess that it’s going to be more than dozens.” Mr Foster said that progress on resettlement had been “disappointing”, that the majority of those in the concentration camps had already been screened, and that moving them to other concentration camps was “unacceptable”. “There really is no reason why they can’t return. If the gates are opened up, the IDPs can be the judge of whether it’s safe or not to go home,” he said. “That should be a choice for them.”

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