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Girls sexually abused in Lankan camp

Doctors in Galle district said they had received several complaints of rape or sexual assaults from tsunami survivals.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Colombo
UPDATED ON JAN 03, 2005 01:21 AM IST

Two girls who survived Sri Lanka's tsunami tragedy were allegedly sexually abused at a refugee shelter, officials said on Sunday.

The National Child Protection Authority said it was investigating allegations the girls were attacked in the southern district of Galle.

Nearly a million people were driven out of their homes after last week's deadly sea surge in Sri Lanka caused by a 9.0-scale undersea earthquake off Indonesia.

"The problem is that the police are also stretched to the limit at the moment," NCPA chief Harendra de Silva said.

"But we are taking strong action to ensure that offenders are severely dealt with," he said adding sexual abuse did not appear to be widespread at the camps.

He said the NCPA was also investigating the report of a gang rape of a 17-year-old in Galle district.

"We are not certain if it is before or after the (tsunami) tragedy," he said.

Doctors in the district said they had complaints from several women that they had been either raped or were subjected to sexual assault and robbery as they escaped the surging waves, especially in the Galle district.

Nearly 30,000 people were killed in the tragedy, the worst disaster in Sri Lanka's living memory.

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