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Sri Lanka: ICRC escorts food convoys to Vanni region

14-04-1999 News Release 99/15

Following last week's military operation against positions held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Vanni region, the ICRC, acting as a neutral intermediary, escorted five government convoys bearing the red cross emblem through a newly opened checkpoint at Uyilankulam (Mannar).

The operation, conducted at the government's request, enabled 89 trucks to bring flour, sugar and kerosene to civilians living in three LTTE-held districts in the Vanni region. Their supplies had been cut off for two weeks.

The ICRC has been present in Sri Lanka since 1989. It currently has 44 expatriates and 300 local staff based at its delegation in Colombo and its 11 offices in the northern and eastern parts of the country.