Sri Lanka: UNHCR warns on deterioration of the security situation
We are concerned about the continuing deterioration of the security situation in Sri Lanka. Violent incidents and attacks are reported almost every day. Our staff on the ground reports that a trickle of refugees are crossing the Palk Strait to India in small fishing boats, fearing an escalation in the violence. Since 12 January some 50 refugees have arrived in the south Indian coastal town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. Although small, this is the first arrival of refugees to Rameswaram reported since January 2003, and points to a worrisome deterioration of the security situation in the North and East of Sri Lanka.
At the same time, in Trincomalee district, registration of newly displaced people by the local authorities is ongoing, and the displacement figures are expected to increase. UNHCR is closely monitoring the internal displacement situation, and is prepared to provide humanitarian relief assistance to new internally displaced when and if required.