Sunila Abeysekera, a human rights activist and executive
director of INFORM human rights documentation center in Sri
Lanka, in an interview to Real News Network in Toronto, accused
the Sri Lanka Government authorities of not providing enough
attention to the welfare of the nearly 300,000 people in the
internment camps who have come to these camps after months of
deprivation, and said that the lack of proper registration
procedures for the people inside the camp is providing Colombo a
free hand in facilitating the Paramilitaries to take youths out
of the camps in large numbers without any accountability.
"Many of the people are dehydrated and have infected wounds,"
Abeysekara said, and pointed to the April 11th statement by the
High Court Judge in Vavuniyaa that fourteen elderly people died
of starvation in one day.
Manik Farm Internment CampAbeysekara said that she cannot
accept Sri Lanka Government's stand that they will screen the
300,000 people before giving access to independent NGOs
including ICRC, and UNHCR, and that independent observers should
be allowed to monitor the screening process.
She also said that more than 200 youths between the ages of 11
and 17 were taken from the Manik farm camp in Vavuniyaa last
week, and the Government has not disclosed the list of the
youths taken. "The parents of these youths are desperate," Ms
Government admits that they have 10,000 LTTE surrendees and
captives in who have surrendered, Ms Abeysekera said. "We don't
know where they are. We don't have a list of who they are. There
are families of senior LTTE cadres are in Government custody.
For example, Soosai's wife and children are captured by the Sri
Lanka Navy. We are trying to find where these people are. And it
is impossible," Ms Abeysekara added.
Ms Abeysekera was honored as a Human Rights Watch Defender at
the 2007, Voices for Justice Dinner Worldview.