“Pascale Moreau, UNHCR,s Acting Director for Asia, stressed that UNHCR had no one on the ground in the areas of conflict and has not been allowed full access to interview IDPs, so it has no primary source information on what happened during the conflict. Her discussion with Amb. Williamson focused more on the current status of IDP camps and the expectations for the return home or relocation of the civilians there. On screening, Moreau said that UNHCR had recently gotten access to the Omanthai crossing point, where it was allowed to oversee the general process, but did not have direct access to the individuals.” the US Mission to UN informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The “Confidential” cable discuses what had happened on the ground during and since the conflict. The cable was signed by the US Ambassador to Geneva Clint Williamson on July 15, 2009.
The ambassador wrote; “Moreau stated that it was not easy to draw any conclusions, positive or negative, about Omanthai in terms of disappearances, but she stressed that this was somewhat academic in any case. Most of the IDPs have already been screened at Kilinochi, where there is no international oversight, before moving on to Omanthai. Two key humanitarian concerns for both the screening centers and the IDP camps was the extensive problem of family separation, including large numbers of children, and reports of sexual and gender-based violence. She suggested that Amb. Williamson speak with UNICEF, which has been looking into the plight of these children. On violence against women, Moreau indicated that in part this stemmed from the high incidence of separated females or female-headed households among IDPs. When asked why the GSL was not pursuing family reunification more vigorously, Moreau stated that it is not the GSL,s highest priority just after the conflict and that such an effort is logistically very difficult. Two other key areas of concern are pushing the GSL to decongest camps and making an internal UNHCR decision on how best to balance providing for the living needs of IDPs in terms of housing and sanitation while simultaneously not enabling the GSL to create permanent camps.”
Other related stories to this cable;