CRS Continues Response to Violence in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankas displaced by violence

Civilians arrive at the village of Putumatalan in Puthukkudiyirippu, northern Sri Lanka. Photo by Reuters/Stringer, courtesy www.alertnet.org

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is working closely with our local partners in Sri Lanka to respond to the worsening humanitarian situation there, where a civil war lasting more than two decades has cost nearly 100,000 lives and led to untold suffering.

During the past week, thousands more civilians fled the war zone in the northern part of the democratic country, while government soldiers and rebels fought the apparent final chapters of ¬†Asia’s longest-running war.

Government security forces in Sri Lanka captured almost all the areas that had been under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

According the official government statistics, more than 100,000 civilians have been brought out from the “Safe Zone” in the northeastern region of the country and are being sent to humanitarian camps for internally displaced people. The rescue operation continues.

Civilians face terrible suffering as a result of the  fighting. The 25-year old conflict has reached a peak in the last year with between 70,000 and 250,000 people displaced within the country. Late this week, a Catholic priest was severely wounded after an attack on his church. Read more about story here: http://www.caritas.org/newsroom/press_releases/PressRelease23_04_09.html.

Many people have had little access to regular meals or water for weeks.

CRS is supporting partner agencies to help provide people food, clean water, basic medicine, temporary shelter and counseling.

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