US official concerned over confinement of refugees in Lanka

Expressing serious concern over condition of people in refugee camps, a top Obama Admin official has charged Lankan Govt of forcing Tamil people to be confined.

Updated: Aug 20, 2009, 11:07 AM IST

Washington: Expressing serious concern over
humanitarian condition of people in refugee camps, a top Obama
Administration official has charged the Sri Lankan Government
of virtually forcing the Tamil people to be confined to a
particular area against their will.

This involuntary confinement should be an issue which
needs to be raised by the Friends of Sri Lanka with Colombo,
said the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugee
and Migration, Eric Schwartz, in a meeting with the State
Department Press Corps on the occasion of World Humanitarian

"The basic principle of freedom of movement is at play in
Sri Lanka. Everywhere around the world, displaced persons make
their own judgments about when it is right to go back. And
people, we have found, are pretty good judges of their own
best interests," he said.

"In Sri Lanka, the continued involuntary confinement is
especially a source of concern given the recent rains and
given the coming of the Monsoon season. It makes it all the
more important that release from confinement be an issue that
friends of Sri Lanka continue to raise," said Schwartz, who
was recently in Sri Lanka. He would be visiting Sri Lanka

Bureau Report