UN humanitarian chief to visit Sri Lanka next week

12 November 2009

The United Nations humanitarian chief will undertake a mission to Sri Lanka next week, the world body announced today.

The 17 to 19 November visit will be the fourth this year for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, who previously travelled there in February, April and May.

The UN has been closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka, where more than 270,000 people were staying in closed camps after hostilities between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended in May.

In recent months senior UN humanitarian and human rights officials have voiced concern over the safety of these internally displaced persons (IDPs), which according to recent estimates by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) now number about 163,000.

 

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Displaced Sri Lankans increasingly returning home from camps – UN

About 90,000 Sri Lankans displaced by the conflict between Government forces and Tamil separatists have returned to their homes in the past three months, and the pace of returns has begun to accelerate, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.