Farmers want Angelina Jolie to visit Philippines

Fri Dec 7, 2007 4:12am EST
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MANILA (Reuters) - A leftist farmers' group has asked the United Nations to send Hollywood star Angelina Jolie to visit the Philippines to check on the rising number of people displaced by army offensives in the countryside.

Since the late 1960s, the Philippine army has been fighting communist insurgents and Muslim separatists in twin insurgencies that have killed 160,000 people, displaced over 2 million and stunted economic growth in the country.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Movement of Farmers in the Philippines) has sent a letter to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to look at the worsening refugee situation in the country, its leader Willy Marbella said on Friday.

"Since June 2005, we have been asking the chair of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, to look into this and send Angelina Jolie to see the real situation of internally displaced people in the country," Marbella told reporters.

"Hundreds of people are being forced out of their homes and farms every month."

Jolie, who starred in Hollywood hits "Tomb Raider" and "Mr and Mrs Smith" opposite Brad Pitt, is an ambassador of goodwill at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

<p>Angelina Jolie poses at the premiere of "Beowulf" in London November 11, 2007. REUTERS/Anthony Harvey</p>