Shelling hits hospital, ICRC shocked

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2009, 19:39 GMT]
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), in a statement issued from Colombo Sunday expressed shock at the shelling of Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital a second time in a week, and said "wounded and sick people, medical personnel and medical facilities are all protected by international humanitarian law. Under no circumstance may they be directly attacked," pointing an accusing finger at the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) without mentioning either by name.

Full text of the news release follows:

Sri Lanka: Vanni hospital shelled

"We're shocked that the hospital was hit, and this for the second time in recent weeks," said Paul Castella, head of the Colombo delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). "Wounded and sick people, medical personnel and medical facilities are all protected by international humanitarian law. Under no circumstance may they be directly attacked."

The hospital currently has over 500 in-patients, some of them still waiting to be transferred to the government-controlled area for more adequate treatment. Despite today's attack, people injured by the fighting continue to arrive at the facility.

The ICRC has been supporting the hospital's staff by setting up a makeshift structure for triage, receiving ambulances, and helping to clean the facility. It has also provided mattresses for patients who find themselves in the corridors because there is no longer any room in the wards.

"The staff are under acute stress, surrounded as they are by the sound of the ongoing fighting and the influx of new patients," said Morven Murchison-Lochrie, an ICRC medical coordinator, who is present in the hospital. "Ambulances are constantly arriving, but people are also being brought in by wagon, pick-up truck, tractor and even motor scooter." Despite this, she said, the staff remained inventive and committed to caring for the injured and sick who had made the dangerous trip to the hospital.

Appealing to those involved in the fighting, Mr Castella said: ''The ICRC calls on both parties to respect their obligation to spare medical facilities and activities, as required by international humanitarian law in all circumstances."

ICRC staff are present in the hospital and, together with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, continue to support the Ministry of Health staff caring for the injured and sick there.


External Links:
ICRC: Sri Lanka: Vanni hospital shelled


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
06.12.19 13:47   Photo
US think-tank lists India's strategic assets in Indian Ocean Region
05.12.19 23:25  
India's former nuclear commander proposes tolerance limits for hot exchange with China
04.12.19 21:28  
Chinese Op-Ed condemns US ‘security’ projection of ‘China threat’ in South Asia
03.12.19 23:27  
Challenging 2006 EU ban on LTTE, next step of legal activism on principled grounds: Mendis
02.12.19 23:24  
China, Pakistan send top diplomats to meet Gotabaya in Colombo
01.12.19 23:46  
Gotabaya seems to have bought 5 years from India to wage ‘development’ genocide in North-East
30.11.19 23:51  
India strengthens defence ties with Japan
29.11.19 18:45  
New Delhi appeases Colombo as Eelam Tamil leaders fail to demand international mediation
28.11.19 07:59   Photo
Collective message from Tamils on Heroes Day: Rajapaksas can’t kill Tamil Eelam dream
27.11.19 10:46   Photo
University students, Shivaji brave SL restrictions on veneration of Tamil Eelam Heroes in Jaffna
26.11.19 23:28   Photo
Colombo attempts to officially block students from marking Heroes Day at Jaffna University
25.11.19 23:32   Photo
People mobilise in resolute to mark Tamil Eelam Heroes Day amidst Rajapaksas return
24.11.19 19:59  
Demand Tokyo Co-chairs, India to bring international mediation between Tamils and GoSL
23.11.19 22:58   Photo
US, Indian think-tanks call for deepening of Indo-Pacific ties ahead of 2+2 meetings
22.11.19 23:13  
Russian naval vessel visiting Hambantota coincides with return of Gotabaya Rajapaksa
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=28258