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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 17:42 GMT
UNHCR says Sri Lanka still fragile
The United Nations refugee agency says, despite the current peace process in Sri Lanka, the situation is still too fragile for any large-scale repatriation of refugees.

The UNHCR said its representative had met the leader of the Tamil Tigers' political wing last week, and explained the UN was not yet prepared to promote the return to Sri Lanka of up to 100,000 Tamil refugees currently in southern India.

However, UNHCR says it will help repatriate 17 individuals for pressing humanitarian reasons.

They were among 600 people who approached the UNHCR office in Tamil Nadu to ask for help in returning home to Sri Lanka.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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