The clergy were allowed to leave the camps in the northern district of Vavuniya, where 300,000 inmates are detained under tight security to be screened for remaining Tamil Tiger rebels, Lanka Business reports.
“We are taking measures to free the remaining members of the clergy at the earliest,” said P.S. Charles, the senior civil servant in the area.
A total of 571 Hindu priests, six Catholic priests and two nuns were allowed out, she said, adding another 220 were still in the camps.
International and local rights groups have expressed concern about the welfare of the civilians held in the cramped internment centres, which are officially described as “welfare villages.”
Recent rains have overwhelmed the sewerage systems and contaminated wells, raising fears of disease outbreaks.
The government promised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who visited the island in May, that 80 percent of the refugees would be returned home before the end of this year.
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