Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sri Lankan A9 highway of heartless politics

Sri Lankan government has yet to find enduring solutions to the problems of the IDPs.

Many tears – some genuine but mostly ‘crocodile’- were shed on the plight of these unfortunate people.

Politics of the worst sort came into play and the IDPs became its victims, as much as they were the victims of a brutal war that was insensitive to human suffering.

Large numbers of these IDPs have been released from the concentration camps in the past two months and purportedly resettled.

The truth seems to expose the farce the whole issue of the Tamil IDPs has become.

This is what‘s on Sri Lankan A9 highway and either side of it:

1. There are many Sri Lankan Army security posts at approximately 50-100 meter intervals on either side of the highway.

2. The IDP shelters are set between these security posts.

3. The IDPs are living in shelters, made of twelve galvanized iron sheets and a sheet of blue water-proof plastic. These galvanized iron and the plastic sheets are provided as a standard free issue to the IDPs leaving the camps irrespective of their family size.

4. There are no toilets visible. The IDPs are very likely using the adjoining scrub jungle as open toilets and these definitely pose a serious health hazard.

5. There are no visible sources of available water near most shelters.

6. Due to the heavy rains and accompanying winds the re-settled IDPs are living under the most inhuman conditions. There was water inside many shelters and the shelters themselves were surrounded by water.

7. Medical faculties are not available in the vicinity and ready transport is unavailable. The few buses that travel on this route are over-crowded and do not stop for these IDPs.

8. Kilinotchi town is in shambles and has to be almost completely re-built. Only a handful of civilians are in Kilinotchi town.

9. There were no visible signs of NGO presence along the stretch of A9 highway between Vavuniya and Muhamalai.

The conditions under which the soldiers in the security posts are living are much better than those of the IDPs. The soldiers are provided with their food , water, transport and health needs by the government in an organized manner.

The conditions in which the “resettled” Tamil IDPs are living are heart rending to see.

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