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UNHCR 'alarmed' by attack against Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka

The UN Refugee Agency expressed alarm and concern at an attack against 31 Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka by a Sinhala monk led mob. 

"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is alarmed and concerned by yesterday's incident at a refugee shelter housing mostly women and children on the outskirts of Colombo," the UNHCR said in a statement on Wednesday. 

"UNHCR is equally concerned for the safety and security of our partner's staff present during the incident who were providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees."

According to AFP, the mob "broke down gates and entered the walled multi-storied compound as frightened refugees huddled together in upstairs rooms". 

"UNHCR emphasizes that refugees are victims of violence and persecution who need international protection and assistance. UNHCR urges the public and all those concerned with refugees to continue extending protection and to show empathy for civilians fleeing persecution and violence."

"In Sri Lanka, the presence of refugees and asylum seekers is authorized by the Government. In consultation with the authorities. UNHCR provides assistance to refugees until longer-term solutions can be found."