Crisis unfolding in Ki'linochchi - Human Rights Secretariat

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 September 2008, 16:56 GMT]
The better off among the newly displacing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ki'linochchi have gone to the extreme of dismantling their homes so that they can setup a home in due course in new place. The sight of Ki'linochchi streets with roofless, doorless homes tells the sad tale of the IDPs who once lived in them, said North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) on Saturday. Meanwhile, the United Nations office of the Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator in Colombo, in a press statement issued on Saturday, said it was seriously concerned by theft from its Ki'linochchi offices on Thursday and Friday nights and said it has brought this to the attention of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE).

According to District Secretariat estimates around 6,500 IDP families are presently living without shelter under the shade of trees.

The NESoHR in its statement said: "In order to bring items like tarpaulins, more convoys must cross over. But, these items are usually given by the International agenices that are not their anymore."

The UN agencies left Ki'linochchi after the announcement by the Sri Lanka government that it cannot guarantee the safety of foreign nationals attached to the UN and international NGOs.

The civilians have pleaded the agencies not to leave and even blockaded their passage. The UN and other personnel of International organisations, except the ICRC, vacataed Ki'linochchi last week.

When UN and other international agencies left Vanni, fear of a humanitarian crisis unobserved by neutral presence was raised from several quarters. "That predicted crisis started unfolding just as the UN agencies were leaving Vanni," the NESoHR said.

The sight of Ki'linochchi streets with roofless, doorless homes
The sight of Ki'linochchi streets with roofless, doorless homes. [Photos: NESoHR]
Full text of the press statement issued by the UN office in Colombo follows:

United Nations
Office of the Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator
for Sri Lanka 20 September 2008
STATEMENT UN concerned by Kilinochchi Office looting

The UN in Sri Lanka says that it is seriously concerned by theft from its Kilinochchi Offices on Thursday and Friday nights. The UN has drawn this to the attention of the LTTE and says that humanitarian assets and staff ought to be protected at all times in accordance with international humanitarian law.


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