The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

Enough is Enough: Sri Lanka Must Resettle Displaced Civilians Now

Sri Lanka’s government claimed victory over the LTTE in March, ending the civil war that had ravaged the country for twenty-five years. Yet more than four months later, 260,000 displaced civilians remain confined in military-run detention camps, suffering from deteriorating conditions and unable to leave.

Enough is enough. It’s time for the Sri Lankan government to release these IDPs and allow them to return home.

The U.N. has repeatedly called for the rapid resettlement of all refugees, and has, in harshening tones, warned that it will not continue to fund the camps unless resettlement progress is made. Numerous human rights groups have issued similar pleas to world leaders and to the Sri Lankan government. The international community itself has finally begun to register its concern over the state of the IDPs.

Yet all appeals have been to no avail.

Although Sri Lanka’s government continues to promise that all IDPs will be resettled by January next year, only a minimal fraction of refugees have so far been allowed to return home. Meanwhile, clashes are breaking out as IDPs try to escape the detention camps and rumors abound that resettled refugees have actually been taken to other detention centers.

The IDPs themselves are begging to return home – or at least for more freedom and sanitary conditions.

Sri Lanka’s government can no longer ignore the myriad demands for it to allow displaced civilians to return home. If it hopes to continue receiving billion-dollar loans from the IMF and foreign funding for its resettlement efforts, then it must begin by making significant progress to ensure the basic rights of all civilians – including the right to liberty and the freedom of movement.

Enough is enough. It’s time for the Sri Lankan government to release all IDPs and allow them to return home now.

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