Number of Displaced Persons on the Rise Again

The upsurge in violence in eastern Sri Lanka during the first half of 2006 has led to 45,674 new internally-displaced people (IDPs), according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. (Additional thousands are being displaced in August, as fighting rages over control of a sluice gate and irrigation reservoir south of the city of Trincomalee.)

This represents a reversal of the previous situation. At the time of the January 2002 ceasefire agreement, there were a total of 731,838 IDPs in Sri Lanka. That number was cut in half over the subsequent four years, reaching 358,386 as of May 2006.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Humanitarian Situation in Sri Lanka,” Situation Report, Reporting Period: 21-26 July 2006.