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We estimate that the number of Sri Lankans displaced in the latest surge in conflict between the Sri Lankan armed forces and separatist extremists has risen from approximately 75,000 in July to between 200,000 and 250,000. Most of these people are Tamils. We estimate that about two thirds of them are likely to be women and children, but it is not possible to calculate numbers exactly because there is no humanitarian access. They are trapped between opposing forces in a pocket of north-east Sri Lanka without the assistance they need. There are plans by the United Nations and the Sri Lankan authorities to mount relief convoys but so far very little is getting through. As I said in the House on
We estimate that the total number of internally displaced people in Sri Lanka is now at least 500,000.