Red Cross' humanitarian services spotlighted

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 October 2004, 00:54 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) Tuesday launched its "Meet the Media" campaign in Trincomalee in collaboration with its district branch to brief media persons on the humanitarian services of Red Cross to victims of war and displacement and other natural disasters in the Trincomalee district Tuesday. Mr.Harsha Gunawardene, SLRCS Director of Information said the second Meet the Media event will be held in Anuradhapura.

SLRC campaign
SLRCS Media Director Mr.Harsha Gunawardene
SLRCS has its branches in twenty-two districts in the island.

"We are non-profit volunteer and humanitarian organization. Although international agencies are providing funds to implement several projects we need the support of the masses and media to take forward our mission of serving the victims of conflict and natural disasters. That is why we are launching the Meet the Media campaign," said Mr.Harsha Gunawardene

Mr.Bandula Jayasekara, Regional Information Officer of the South Asia Regional delegation and the Trincomalee head delegate of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Mr Patrick Walder participated in the briefing.

The SLRCS in Trincomalee district has rehabilitated welfare centres located at Alles Garden, Nilaveli, Love Lane in Trincomalee and Namalwatte, which were neglected for several years, said Dr.E.G.Gnanagunalan, President of the Trincomalee district branch of the SLRCS.

Dr. Gnanagunalan outlined the activities of the SLRCS in Trincomalee district through various projects such as Mobile Health Clinic, Sexual and Gender based violence awareness program, Community Integration Animators Training, Community Integration Awareness Programme, Community Integration Camps, Community Restoration and development Programme, Disaster Preparedness, First Aid Services, HIV/AIDS Awareness, Welfare centre renovation, Sight Restoration and Fitting Artificial Legs to victims of war or illness.

He added that the SLRCS was the first to provide relief to impoverished and who were made destitute due to the conflict and natural disasters in the Trincomalee district before the relevant government authorities offered assistance.

Regarding the HIV/AIDS awareness programme conducted in Trincomalee district Dr.Gnanagunalan said three fresh positive HIV/AIDS cases have been detected in the year 2003 in addition to the three cases detected in the year 2002. Awareness programmes are now conducted to youths, teachers, students, prisoners, drivers and the IDPs sheltered in welfare centres and other target groups who are vulnerable, he said.

SLRC campaign
Dr.Gnanagunalan, briefing the press. (L-R) Mr.Bandula Jayasekara, Mr.Harsha Gunawardene and Mr.Patrick Walder

Dr.Gnanagunalan said that there have been a number of incidents of violence against women and children especially sexual abuse, domestic violence and economic discrimination in resettled villages and welfare centres. A project funded by UNHCR is being implemented in the welfare centres located in Alles garden and Nilaveli and also in the Nadesapuram resettled village to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Dr.Gnanagunalan said a core-working group has been appointed to organize an annual carnival in December 16, 17 and 18 in Trincomalee to general income of the development and humanitarian activities for the branch society.


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