UN Special Envoy meets Sri Lanka Red Cross President

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 January 2005, 13:46 GMT]
Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy on Relief Operations is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka. She met with Mr.Jagath Abeyasinghe, President of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) Sunday to update her on the relief operations now being carried out in the Tsunami hit coastal districts of the island, SLRC sources said.


Ms Margareta Wahlstrom with SLRCS President Mr.Jagath Abeyasinghe
"National Red Cross Societies like the Sri Lanka Red Cross are important actors and an important partner for the UN. As people on the ground it is you who respond first and it is only them that we come. Therefore what is done for the people at community level is very important", said Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy on Relief Operations during the discussion with Mr.Jagath Abeyasinghe.

Mr.Jagath Abeyasinghe elaborated on the humanitarian activities of the Red cross branches since last Sunday in the affected areas- evacuation of dead bodies, transferring the wounded to hospitals, conducting mobile clinics, distributing non-food relief items, providing first aid services and helping reunite families undertaken by hundreds of Red Cross volunteers throughout the country.

The SLRCS President is to accompany Mr. Louise Michael, European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid in a helicopter and ground tour of affected areas in Galle and Batticaloa on Monday January 03.

A Task Force comprising SLRCS, ICRC and other National Red Cross Societies such as Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain, Finland, Norway and Denmark who are currently in the country organizes all relief activities.

 

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