Human Security, IDPs and Refugees, Peace and Conflict, Post-War, Vavuniya

A first hand perspective of Sri Lanka’s largest IDP camp: Are they really ‘our people’?

This is an interview in English secured by Vikalpa with a Sri Lankan Tamil who had visited his family at the “Ramanathan Transitional Relief Village” in May. His family is amongst 260,000+ other IDPs interned in Menik Camp.

In an interview conducted before the recent flooding, the speaker records the inhuman conditions and indignity IDPs have to face in these camps. Pointing to the irony of calling them ‘relief centres’, the speaker notes that with upto 19 persons having to share a single tent, hours of queing for drinking water and to use toilets, what they are in fact are detention centres.

“The President of Sri Lanka, Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse says these people are his own citizens, but how they treat these people you can’t believe” the speaker notes at the end.