Tamil refugees plead for help to find missing relatives

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Vavuniya (Sri Lanka), May 27 (ANI): Tamil refugees are reportedly pleading for help to find missing relatives.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph at Vavuniya, where 210,000 people are being held in five camps for "internally displaced people", ragged Tamils said they had come under attack from both sides as the 26-year civil war reached its conclusion last week.

Many clutched a razor wire fence, desperately searching the crowds on the other side for a familiar face as they tried to discover whether their loved ones were still alive and at liberty, or in another of the camps, where the overcrowded conditions and made worse by poor sanitation, inadequate food and severe water shortages.

The refugees are not allowed to leave the camps even if they are not suspected of being Tamil Tiger fighters.

Colombo says that it will clear the camps during the course of the year, and is anxious not to allow separatist fighters to evade their reach by posing as civilians and simply walking free.

An army spokesman said that up to 6,000 families had been reunited to date, and that they were working to bring separated families together. (ANI)

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