Languages
Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 17:51 UK

Sri Lanka 'to send Briton home'

By Swaminathan Natarajan
BBC Tamil service,

A boy stands in a Menik Farm displaced persons camp in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka, Saturday, May 23, 2009
About 300,000 people are being held in camps for the displaced

A British woman who is being held in one of the displacement camps in northern Sri Lanka has been traced and may soon be released, officials say.

Damilvany Gnanakumar, 26, was working at one of the temporary hospitals inside Sri Lanka's war zone.

A local official told the BBC that efforts were underway to send Ms Gnanakumar back to Britain.

She is one of the many thousands who fled the final stages of the conflict ending Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war.

'In good health'

"Today I visited the camp personally and met her [Ms Gnanakumar] and verified her documents," Mrs Charles, government agent for northern Vavunyia district where most of the camps are located, told the BBC's Tamil service.

She said she had been instructed to do so by President Rajapaksa's brother and political adviser, Basil Rajapkasa.

"I went to the camp and met her. She is in a camp located in the Ramanathan relief village. She is living with her friends and relatives there. She is in good health," Mrs Charles said.

"She has no injuries on her body. You can tell her relatives that she is safe, she is happy and we are making every effort to send her back to the UK."

She said Basil Rajapaksa had assured her that he would hasten the legal process.

Ms Gnanakumar's family had expressed their fears for her wellbeing to the Guardian newspaper on Saturday.

Britain's High Commission staff in Colombo were in touch with the Sri Lankan government over Ms Gnanakumar's release.

About 300,000 people displaced by Sri Lanka's bitter war are currently being held in camps in the north of the country.

Aid agencies and human rights groups have been calling for unfettered access to these camps.

The military has so far refused to release refugees from the camps wholesale, saying they must be screened to weed out any Tamil rebels who may be hiding among them.



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific