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Plea for aid to S Lanka displaced

[BBC, Tuesday, 23 December 2008 07:49 No Comment]

A rights group has urged Sri Lanka’s government to allow aid agencies back into the country’s rebel-held north where fighting has displaced thousands.

Human Rights Watch has also urged the government to stop detaining Tamil civilians who have fled areas controlled by rebels.

 

Aid workers were ordered out of the area in September for their "safety".

 

The fate of civilians in the area has become a key issue as soldiers continue an offensive to crush the rebels.

 

Human Rights Watch estimates as many as 300,000 people have fled their homes ahead of a military advance, moving further into rebel controlled territory.

 

The group is urging Sri Lanka’s government to allow in aid workers to help.

 

Staff from the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies were ordered out in September when the government said it could not guarantee their safety.

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