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Parting UN Human Rights Chief - displaced Tamils continue to live in 'deplorable conditions'

The parting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein highlighted the ongoing anguish of Tamils displaced by the Sri Lankan military, in a wide-ranging op-ed published in The Economist, 'Grassroots leaders provide the best hope to a troubled world'. 

Likening the conditions experienced by displaced Tamils to camps in IDP camps in Libya, Mr Zeid wrote: 

"The apparent powerlessness of those who suffer was also brought home to me in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where Tamil communities dispossessed of their land by the military decades ago still live in the most basic and deplorable conditions. Even when the government is committed to the release of their lands and properties, the military refuses to obey, so the innocent and displaced continue to suffer terribly."

"I saw similar conditions in Libya when visiting a camp hosting a displaced Touareg community. The general insecurity around Tripoli, particularly at night, with abductions and shootings commonplace, meant their situation was precarious (though that could be said of all the countries I visited where local armed conflict was prevalent, such as the Central African Republic, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo)."

Read the full article here


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