Country’s war refugees swell the tide of asylum seekers heading for Australia in boats.
The United Nations has welcomed the decision by Sri Lanka’s government to announce the release of the remaining 130,000 Tamils kept in detention camps for the last six months.
About 250,000 people fled the final bloody phase of the civil war between the government and separatist Tamil Tigers.
They were ultimately housed in government-run camps in the district of Vavuniya.
Hundreds of thousands of Tamils’ have been displaced in the fighting and are now living in hastily put together refugee camps that have been largely shut off from the outside world.
More and more Tamils have been risking their lives – spending weeks on the oceans – in the hopes of reaching Australia.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, in Valaichchenai, Sri Lanka, reports that a new group of asylum-seekers are said to be preparing to board boats on the island’s southeastern coast and sail directly to Australia’s Christmas Island.