Sri Lanka is now a post-conflict society, one still divided along racial and ethnic lines.
But what about the Tamils now forced to live in concentration camps? The Observer reported yesterday:
The camp, say former inhabitants, is packed, with two or three families sharing a tent or tin shack. There are complaints of stinking, overflowing toilets, water shortages and inadequate healthcare. Journalists are rarely given access and those inside Manik Farm are not allowed to cross its fortified perimeter. The government says it has to use extreme measures because hiding in the civilian population are LTTE soldiers.
Speaking on a phone that had been smuggled into the camp, one civilian being held in Manik Farm, who did not want to be named, said two families had “been taken away and not seen again after saying some wrong things” to a reporter last month.
“People are scared to tell anyone of the problems we are facing. But it is a prison here. There are not enough health facilities for the problems in the camp and we don’t have enough water.”
The Sri Lankan authorities recently allowed humanitarian relief workers into Manik Farm. The immediate criticism was that there were persistent water shortages. Then heavy rains sent rivers of sewage cascading through tents and tin sheds.
Now there are growing fears that with monsoon rains due in October, the camps could become a sea of thick mud and slop.