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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 106

UN agency for refugees has sought $ 18.6 million for Sri Lanka

By Walter Jayawardhana

The United Nations high Commissioner for Refugees has appealed for 18.6 million dollars to provide assistance to an estimated half a million people displaced within Sri Lanka by the separatist war waged by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the agency said.

The United Nation’s agency for refugees said as the two decades old war now shifts from the Eastern Province to the Northern Province of Sri Lanka they are now preparing to assist fresh displacements during the year 2008.

The agency said the US 18.6 million now sought by them would provide for the protection of the displaced including the refugees affected by the armed conflict. It said the money also would go to provide shelter, non-food items, and camp management.

The agency has noted that the Sri Lanka government has successfully re-settled 170.000 displaced persons in the Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts, with more returns planned this year.

”There are still some 187,700 displaced since fighting escalated on the island in April 2006”, UNHCR said.

And despite the return of tens of thousands of internally displaced persons to their areas of origin after a 2002 ceasefire, some 312,000 persons have remained in a state of protracted displacement during the last 20 years of conflict, the agency added.

UNHCR said it is undertaking to work with the government to find lasting solutions for these people.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a separatist terrorist group seeking an independent state in areas in Sri Lanka inhabited by ethnic Tamils.

The LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, has used conventional, guerrilla, and terror tactics, including some 200 suicide bombings, in a bloody, two-decade-old civil war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives and displaced many hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans.

- Asian Tribune -

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