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Govt aid for displaced in restive Lanka

The internally displaced persons in northern Sri Lanka continue to live uncertain lives but can now hope for some aid from the government in terms of food and shelter, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

world Updated: Aug 18, 2008 00:00 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Sri Lanka continue to live uncertain lives but can now hope for some aid from the government in terms of food and shelter.

A meeting of the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance, part of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, was held on Friday where senior government ministers and officials took stock of the situation.

International human rights organisations have already warned that with over 70,000 civilians displaced because of the fighting, government should act swiftly.

“Currently, the 20000 displaced families are being accommodated in 11 schools. More schools are being designated as shelters. The government agents and international agencies have assured us that there is enough food and medicines stock for now,” Basil Rajapaksa, advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told HT. “We can’t say that there is no humanitarian crisis in the north. But it has been minimised.”

Meanwhile, Lankan soldiers killed 50 LTTE men and captured an important rebel training base over the past two days in the north.