Sri Lanka has identified six foreign nationals, including Australians, among tens of thousands of war-displaced civilians held in state-run camps in the island’s north, a minister said yesterday.
Three Australians and British, Dutch and Norwegian nationals had crossed into government-held areas after escaping from the war zone in the island’s north-east after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last month.
The Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, said the six, of Sri Lankan origin, would be screened for links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
A British national held has been identified as Danilvany Gnanakumar. Her family has been in touch with the British high commission in Colombo to secure her release.
Immigration officials said she had entered the country in February last year and had overstayed her six-month visa.
She had crossed into rebel areas and worked as a medic. The minister said she violated immigration laws by overstaying and working in the country.
The status of the other five nationals was being investigated, immigration officials said.
Nearly 300,000 people sought shelter with the military as security forces crushed the Tamil Tigers, who had fought for a separate state since 1972.