ICRC urged to ensure relief supply reaches IDPs in Muttur east, Eachchilampathu

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 August 2006, 13:32 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance has appealed to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to ensure humanitarian relief supply reaches the internally displaced Tamil people numbering more than 30000 in the LTTE held areas in the Muttur east and Eachchilampathu division due to indiscriminate aerial strike and artillery attack since April in the Trincomalee district on par with displaced in the government controlled territory. Meanwhile, the ICRC said Sunday in a press release that it has launched a relief operation in Muthur area in co-ordination with the Red Cross Movement (RCM), local authorities and other humanitarian organizations.

More than 30 Tamil civilians including women and children had been killed and the road network, bridges and ferries and infrastructure facilities had been destroyed in the aerial bombing and artillery. Displaced people have sought refuge in jungles and other safe areas have been struggling for their survival, Mr.Sampanthan said in the request to Mr.Toon Vendenhove, ICRC Sri Lanka delegation head based in Colombo.

ICRC Sri Lanka delegation head assured the TNA that the ICRC would all steps to provide humanitarian assistance to the IDPs in the LTTE held villages in the Trincomalee district, TNA sources said.

Following is the press release issued by the ICRC, Sunday, 06.08.2006:

"Following the fighting between the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Trincomalee district over the past six days, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) launched a relief operation in co-ordination with the Red Cross Movement (RCM), the local authorities and other humanitarian organizations.

"An ICRC convoy composed of six trucks, two ambulances and three cars yesterday reached the Muttur area and were able to evacuate around four hundred displaced people from the conflict zone to Trincomalee town. In addition to that, two injured persons were transported to Eachchilampathu hospital.

"As for the fifteen thousand displaced people accommodated in Kantalai, the ICRC is assessing their humanitarian needs, focussing on water and hygienic problems. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) is assisting these people with food.

"In Trincomalee town, the ICRC also delivered yesterday 163 kits of essential household items, containing tarpaulins, mats, pots, buckets, mosquito nets, kerosene cookers and lanterns to some 300 displaced families.

"The ICRC reminds both parties to the conflict of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. It urgently calls up on both parties to ensure the protection of the civilian population as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. "We are facing a serious humanitarian emergency," said Toon Vandenhove, the ICRC's head of delegation presently in Kantalai to meet local authorities," hence we need the collaboration and the assistance of all the parties".


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