7:26 AM

More than 20,000 have escaped from IDP camps?

More than 20,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in camps in Vavuniya have gone missing, and a census into the disappearances is now nearing completion.

A senior official at the Vauniya Kachcheri said yesterday, “There is a significant and glaring number of missing people from all IDP camps, somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 are no longer there.”

According to him, it’s unclear how so many people had made their getaway as there had been a steady decline in numbers, and nothing concrete to investigate on.

Unofficial sources claimed that some Tiger top leaders who had also been hiding among civilians in the camps have made their getaway, and have reportedly bribed officials with sums running to millions of rupees.

The source added that most of the IDPs have occasionally left camps saying they required treatment from hospitals, especially during some epidemics. Most of them, however, have not returned when they were expected to do so. The senior official said the number of visits to hospitals has been drastically reduced and humanitarian workers are required to see that the needs of IDPs such as medicines are met.