UN says criticism of Sri Lanka's Tamil refugee camps are 'unfair'

Neil Buhne, the UNs' top official in Sri Lanka has told the correspondent of the Canadian newspaper, the Toronto Star, that some of the criticism directed at the Sri Lankan government is incorrect and unfair.

Toronto Star (CA)

He told the Star the Sri Lankan government's concerns over security are justified, as are restrictions on aid vehicles allowed into the camps.

"I have no doubt there are at least a few hundred Tigers in the camps," Buhne said about the rebel Tamil Tigers, "and some are probably hard-line cadres, while others are people who certainly had an association with the Tigers and were forced to pick up arms."

Buhne's comments come as the government is being assailed internationally after preventing aid agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Save the Children from bringing supplies into camps near Vavuniya, a city in northern Sri Lanka where most war refugees are.

"There have been a lot of vehicles in and out of those camps," Buhne said. "It's a concern because they still don't know all of the people who are in the camp."

Roughly 180,000 Sri Lankans arrived at the camps over the last month.

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