The Worst Crisis You Won't Read About in the News

The DRC, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Sudan and Nicaragua–all these countries are in crisis right now. How do I know (beyond working at Amnesty International)? I can read about it in the news.

But there is at least one developing humanitarian crisis you won’t find in the New York Times:

More than 300,000 people have been displaced in Sri Lanka by fighting between the Tamil Tigers and government forces. And not only do they lack access to basic food and shelter, but the government is not allowing U.N. aid convoys to bring in desperately needed supplies.

The entire population of Birkenhead has basically been relocated  to the Wanni region of Sri Lanka, and now serve as a buffer–a human shield–between themselves and the government. The displaced don’t have shelters, and it’s monsoon season. They aren’t allowed to leave.

And why aren’t you hearing about it? Aid workers and journalists have been denied entry to the region. This video includes rare photos from the region just before access was cut off.

Amnesty International’s U.K. press office posted more yesterday on their blog.

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8 thoughts on “The Worst Crisis You Won't Read About in the News

  1. What makes you say that 300,000 people were displaced by the tigers? Everyone knows it is the shelling and indiscriminate bombing by the advancing Sri Lankan Army that has displaced the civilians to safer areas.

    When the govt ordered the NGOs to leave on account of safety in the intensifying war, no one thought or raised concerns about the safety of the civilians. And you paint a picture that the departed NGOs cared more for the civilians than the indigenous Tigers!

    As to the New York Times: This is one war where oil or other interests do not overlap. Naturally the big guns are silent – as there is nothing to steal.

  2. What makes you say that 300,000 people were displaced by the tigers? Everyone knows it is the shelling and indiscriminate bombing by the advancing Sri Lankan Army that has displaced the civilians to safer areas.

    When the govt ordered the NGOs to leave on account of safety in the intensifying war, no one thought or raised concerns about the safety of the civilians. And you paint a picture that the departed NGOs cared more for the civilians than the indigenous Tigers!

    As to the New York Times: This is one war where oil or other interests do not overlap. Naturally the big guns are silent – as there is nothing to steal.

  3. Fair enough Balendran. I mischaracterized the causes of displacement, and corrected that in the post.

  4. Fair enough Balendran. I mischaracterized the causes of displacement, and corrected that in the post.