Switzerland ‘deplores’ block on Tamils’ movement, donates essential drugs

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 August 2009, 01:05 GMT]
Announcing its third donation of essential drugs of the Tamils confined in Sri Lanka’s militarised camps, Switzerland Thursday “deplore[d] the continued lack of freedom of movement” for those in the camps and appealed for Colombo to cooperate with the international community and allow humanitarian actors access to the people “rapidly and without hindrance.” Although the press release by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) referred to the people held in the barbwire ringed camps as "Sri Lankan civilians," they are in fact all Tamils - comprising the population of the northern Vanni region.

The full text of the SDC press release follows:

Reiterating its commitment to the welfare of the civilians who have been victims of the conflict and are now kept in Government controlled camps in the North, Switzerland has donated a 3rd stock of urgently required medical supplies to be distributed to health facilities treating Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) through the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The consignment of drugs, mainly anti-biotics worth Rs. 7.1 million, was handed over to the Medical Supplies Department (MSD) of the MoH on the 26th of August 2009. Since March 2009, Switzerland has therewith donated essential drugs for the medical treatment of conflict-displaced civilians to a total value of Rs. 18 Million.

Switzerland supports the Sri Lankan Government in its endeavour to proceed to a speedy return process but deplores the continued lack of freedom of movement for the Sri Lankan Civilians in the camps, namely in Menik Farm.

Switzerland also appeals for cooperation between Sri Lanka and the international community. It is essential that humanitarian actors should be able to provide support to vulnerable populations in the north of Sri Lanka rapidly and without hindrance.

Switzerland reiterates its willingness to provide support in the areas of humanitarian aid, humanitarian protection and the elaboration of institutional solutions for the protection of all communities.


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