Camps for displaced Lankans inundated

COLOMBO: Heavy rains have caused havoc in camps housing nearly 300,000 people displaced by war in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north, an official said today.

The flooding has raised fears for the welfare of the ethnic Tamils living in tents and makeshift shelters.

Downpours in the last two days have forced authorities to move hundreds in

the Manik Farm camp to safer areas.

“Around 200 persons there have been shifted to locations on higher grounds within the camp premises,” said PSM Charles, the senior government official in Vavuniya, where the

camp is located.

Rights groups have urged the government to free the civilians, whose camps are guarded by soldiers and strung with barbed wire, saying the detentions are illegal.

The camp is near former battlefields where ethnic Tamil Tiger rebels fought for an independent homeland.

The Sri Lankan army had defeated the LTTE and killed its leader Prabhakaran.