Friday, October 2, 2009

IDP camps are not ZOO: Lankan envoy

Even as major political parties in Tamil Nadu are urging the Centre to send a delegation of MPs from the State to Sri Lanka to study the condition of the displaced Tamils in Lanka, Deputy High Commissionner of that country, Vadivel Krishnamoorthy on Thursday said the camps for Tamils in his country were not 'zoos' for people to come and watch.

Addressing a press conference, Krishnamoorthy said the camps were set up for the Tamils, who were `liberated’ after a war with the ``terrorists.’’

"And we are not running zoos to allow people to come and watch. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is an elected leader. And he knows what is best for his citizens and how to settle them safely," he told reporters while responding to a query as to why the media and representatives of other nations were not allowed to visit the Internally Displaced People’s camps.
There were reports that around three lakh Tamils are now languishing in these camps.

He dismissed the reports about the attack on the Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy as baseless and said the reports were deliberately floated by vested interest to create rift between the Navies of two countries.
He said the sri Lanakn navy has only `diligently discharged’ their duty when Indian trawlers trespass to Sri Lankan waters for fishing.
Krishnamoorthy said the Indian navy had detained 560 Sri Lankan fishermen in the last one year for various violations while Lankan Navy had held only 100 Indian fishermen.
Asked about Katchatheevu, he said the island was part of Sri Lanka and ``there are no discussions about it.’’

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