US official concerned over confinement of refugees in Lanka
Last Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 11:07
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 Day.

"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 again.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 11:07

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