Sri Lanka: UNHCR deeply concerned about Jaffna civilians
Two of UNHCR's expatriate staff today moved from their Jaffna office to a medical centre which UNHCR had repaired at Pandattarippu, north-west of the Jaffna peninsula where evacuees from Jaffna have encamped. Some residents have begun to evacuate to Pandattarippu and other areas to the north in the face of continued fighting in the Jaffna town area. Two other UNHCR expatriate staff members remain in the Jaffna office.
Tamil Tiger radio broadcasts have urged civilians and international aid workers to move to the northern and western part of the peninsula. Yesterday, the Sri Lankan military relaxed a curfew, allowing UNHCR staff for three hours in the morning to visit areas where people have relocated.
Most of the displaced appeared to have found accommodation with friends and relatives. A small number are in collective centres, such as schools, public buildings, temples and churches. Food is being provided by the civil administration, and UNHCR and other agencies are providing other relief supplies.
UNHCR is deeply concerned about the situation of civilians in Jaffna.