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Massive aid sought for Sri Lankan Tamils – UPI

[MISC, Monday, 3 August 2009 12:24 No Comment]

Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said large amounts of global assistance are needed to resettle 300,000 Tamils displaced by the war.

Speaking to the BBC, Rajapaksa said the level of the assistance needs to be far higher than what has been promised by donors including the United Nations, the United States and Japan.

The Tamils were driven from their homes by the Sri Lankan’s military campaign against the Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in May. Since then, many Tamil refugees have been housed in government camps in the north of the island nation, where facilities are grossly inadequate.

The BBC report said Rajapaksa’s comments come at a time when the United Nations and Western countries are pressing for speedier resettlement of the Tamils. The government had promised to return most of the civilians by the end of this year.

But the government also says it needs time to remove mines from war-affected areas and to root out insurgents hiding among the displaced population, the report said.

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