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Vanni IDPs live under appalling condition: Sri Lankan Chief Justice

[TamilNet, Thursday, 4 June 2009 05:41 No Comment]

"Vanni IDPs sheltered in transit centres in Cheddiku’lam cannot expect justice under the Sri Lanka’s law. Law of the country does not show any interest on these IDPs. I openly say this. The authorities can penalize me for telling this," said Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva when he addressed a public meeting which followed the ceremonial opening of a court complex at Marawila in Negombo district Tuesday. These transit centres are described as internment camps by human rights activists.

Sarath N. Silva further said:

“I visited ‘relief villages’ where Vanni IDP families are sheltered. I cannot explain their suffering and grief in words. It is an utter lie if we continue to say that there is only one race and no majority or minority in the country. I visited Cheddiku’lam camps where IDP families live. I cannot explain the pathetic situation they undergo. I was unable to console them. They survive amid immense suffering and distress.

"We construct massive building on our side. But these IDPs live in tent-shelters. Ten IDPs live in one tent-shelter. They could stand straight only in the centre of the tent shelter. Their neck will break down if they move to aside of the tent-shelter.

"IDPs are seen waiting in queues, extending from 50 to 100 yards to take their turn to answer a call of nature. This is the life of Vanni IDPs in Cheddiku’lam camp

"I attempted to smile at these IDPs. But it was without success. I failed to express my feeling towards them. I was unable to tell them that we also were crying with them for their suffering. I was unable to tell them that I would supply new clothes to them.

"They should be provided with enough relief. We would be blamed if we fail to supply them with enough relief.

"They cannot expect justice from the law of the country. Their plight and suffering are not brought to the court of law in our country. I openly say this. I will be penalized for telling this”, said Mr.Sarath Silva who is to retire from the post of Chief Justice at the end June when he reaches 60 years of age.

Sarath Silva’s address was aired with Tamil translation Wednesday night in MTV News bulletin.

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