Sri Lankan humanitarian crises
I do wonder why sometimes the crises in Sri Lanka doesn’t get more exposure in the mainstream media. The problems are intense, and as this report shows, getting more desperate - but my guess is that because it doesn’t involve white people or the West invading, the story sinks to the bottom of the heap.
Sri Lanka conflict traps thousands
In what aid agencies are describing as Sri Lanka's hidden emergency, about 30-40,000 refugees fleeing from violence in the country's north-east have become trapped in the middle of a war zone.
At the small seaside town of Vakarai, 50km north of Batticaloa and controlled by Tamil Tigers, aid workers and locals are struggling to cope with an influx of panicky, exhausted people.
Unicef country representative, Joanna Van Gerpen, said: "The health system in the town has really broken down.
"There's not enough food getting through and there is very restricted access to these people for aid agencies."
For help to get into Vakarai, it must pass through the frontline in fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government forces, with only the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) allowed to go over.
As of October 16, the UN reported 36,716 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Vakarai, most of them Tamils who had fled from fighting in and around the northeastern city of Trincomalee, earlier in the year.