UN counted 289,915 Tamils in Detention Camps , UNHCR & ICRC refuse to help locating / tracing relatives

As at 26th May 2009, UN local office in Sri Lanka has counted 289,915 Tamils ( excluding Sri Lankan intelligence classified screening and interrogation camps ) who escaped Sri Lankan Government bloodbath in the beaches in Vanni in 50 barbed wire detention camps and the list is reproduced below. Local UNHCR & ICRC is refusing to help locating or tracing relatives and registering the names of these 289,915 tamils a human rights activist accused. Registration of these 289,915 Tamils are done by Sri Lankan Army.

Full Text of Email Response from local UNHCR & ICRC Office for a requestor.

27th May 2009

Dear Sir / Madam,

We acknowledge reception of your message of 21.05.09 regarding your request for information on your relatives.

At this given time, with over 250’000 displaced persons living in different camps in Northern Sri Lanka, there is indeed a huge need to help restore
family links, and the ICRC together with the Sri Lankan Red Cross has offered its services and expertise to the authorities in charge of the
camps. Unfortunately, the ICRC is not yet in a position to accept tracing requests for individuals, except for those who have directly been evacuated
by the ICRC from the Vanni and for those who have been arrested by government forces.

The Sri Lankan authorities have taken over the responsibility to register all people who left the Vanni and to restore contacts between family
members who lost track of each other. In most of the camps, a postal system and telephone booths have been put in place in order to help the displaced persons to contact their relatives.

For additional information about ICRC activities in Sri Lanka, you can visit our website : http://www.cicr.org/.

Aware of the difficult time you are facing, we very much regret not being in a position to assist you in this particular case for the time being and,
we thank you in advance for your understanding, we remain,

Yours faithfully

Karin Hofmann
Head of Asia Sector
Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division
ICRC Geneva

The ICRC – working to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict
and other situations of violence.
Find out more: http://www.icrc.org/

2. (25.05.09)

Thank you for your mail to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sri Lanka, requesting assistance to track down your family members in Vavuniya.  Whilst we sympathize with the difficulties encountered by you, UNHCR is unfortunately not mandated to assist in this regard.

You can contact the following organizations for assistance.

ICRC Colombo
No. 29, Layards Road, Colombo 5
+ 94 11 2503346

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
No. 36, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08
Tel: +94 11 2694925 / +94 11 2673806 / +94 11 2694924

We wish you all the best.


UNHCR Colombo

3. (22.05.09)
Dear Madam/Sir,

Following your request concerning your sister and her family, dated 22 May 2009, please be informed that at this stage we cannot provide you with any
further information since we are not in a position trace individuals who arrive in the camps for the internally displaced people either.

However, postal services are operational and phone calls facilities available at those camps, which will allow your relatives to contact you at
some point.

If the situation changes, ICRC will be in contact with the National Red Cross / Red Crescent office in your country.  Therefore, please direct any
future enquiries through your local Red Cross / Red Crescent.

We thank you for your understanding.

Best regards
ICRC Protection department