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Lankan opposition seeks India's help to visit IDP camps

Source: PTI
October 14, 2009 18:28 IST
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Sri Lankan opposition leaders on Wednesday handed over a letter to a delegation of Members of Parliament from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu that is in Colombo, complaining that they were not allowed by the government to visit the relief camps for nearly three lakh displaced Tamils.

The letter was given to the 10-member team, comprising MPs belonging to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led front in Tamil Nadu, when they met leaders of Sri Lanka's opposition United National Party, including its chief and former premier Ranil Wickremasinghe.

"Unfortunately, the opposition Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka have been denied access to the Internally Displaced Persons camps in the north of Sri Lanka by the ministry of defence," senior UNP member Jayalath Jayawardena said in the open letter.

"We have been deprived access to these IDP camps in spite of repeated requests, even though your delegation and the delegation of British Parliamentarians have been given the access to these camps," the letter said.

"I sincerely trust that you (the Indian delegation) will take up this matter very seriously and take whatever appropriate action that you could take to protect the rights of the ppposition Parliamentarians of Sri Lanka," it said.

The letter urged Tamil Nadu MPs to bring a motion in the Indian Parliament requesting the Sri Lankan authorities to allow the opposition members to have access to the IDP camps.
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