Fighting leaves 100,000 more homeless
More than 100,000 civilians were displaced by
last night in the northern and eastern provinces due to the ongoing
clashes between the security forces and the LTTE, marking the biggest
ever refugee crisis in eight years and drawing international attention.
The latest displacements were reported from the
Pallai and Iyakachchi areas in the Jaffna district yesterday, adding
to the increasing number of displaced from Mutur, Sampoor, Serunuwara
and Thanganaagar in the Trincomalee district and Vakarai in the
Civilians fleeing villages in the north and east
were accommodated in schools, places of worship and government buildings
while some were living under trees. More than 5,000 had fled to
other parts of the country including Colombo, Negombo and Kandy.
Nation Building Ministry Secretary M. S. Jayasinghe
said aid agencies, such as the ICRC, the UNICEF and the local Red
Cross were assisting in handling the refugee crisis.
But officials of aid agencies said continuing
battles had forced them to scale down operations and they did not
even have access to some areas.
The highest number of about 20,000 displaced people
was being accommodated in the Kantale area followed by 10,000 in
Serunuwara and 6,500 at Thampalakaman in the Trincomalee district.
Mr. Jayasinghe said Rs.45 million had been allocated
immediately to provide food to the displaced people.
Meanwhile, due to the mass displacement of civilians
in the north and east the year 5 scholarship exams were not held
in Trincomalee and Jaffna districts yesterday.