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SRI LANKA: When will Vanni residents be free from clutches of tigers and lions?

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vanni.jpgSeveral months ago, the government of Sri Lanka made announcements "inviting" displaced people in Vanni to come to government controlled areas, saying that they would be well taken care of. In the last few weeks, media reports indicated that several hundreds of people had come to government controlled areas. 

Pictures and statements were made to media, showing members of the armed forces providing food to people who had fled Vanni. Most media institutions had been happy to limit themselves to share with the public the information shared by the government.

What most media didn't report and what the government has not told Sri Lankans and the world is that all these people are now being detained against their will. From 21st to 30th November, 335 people had crossed the Omanthai checkpoint and were being detained in Menik Farm, Chettikulam, in the Vavuniya district.

Some others are reported as being detained in Omanthai school (Vavuniya district) and more than 100 in Jaffna
Some of these people want to go and live with their relatives, few want to stay in the camp, but would like to go out and look for some work.

All would like to enjoy freedom.
Indeed, that is why they had fled Vanni – as children and adults were being forcibly being recruited by the LTTE, as civilians were being killed and injured by government's military advances, as there was not enough food, shelter, livelihood etc.

Ironically, these people who found it hard to get away due to restrictions on movement imposed by the tigers, in the name of "liberation" now find themselves detained and confined by the lions in the name of "national security".
Its clear to me that what these people have got is far from the family reunification and freedom they were looking for when they managed to escape the clutches of the tigers.

For the complete story, please read Groundviews .