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Sri Lanka: Families visit detainees on hunger strike

24-02-2000 News Release 00/06

On 23 February, 28 close relatives of 15 servicemen (13 from the army, two from the  navy)  who are currently in the custody of  the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and have been on a hunger strike for two weeks were escorted by the ICRC to Puthukkudiyirippu, in northern Sri Lanka, where these men are being held. The visit, which was organized by the ICRC with the cooperation of the government and the LTTE, is scheduled to last for two days so that the detainees can spend some time with their families, whom they have not seen for over six years. ICRC delegates are visiting the detainees daily and are closely monitoring their health.

The ICRC has been present in Sri Lanka since 1989. It has 48 expatriates and 300 local staff based at its delegation in Colombo and its 11 offices in the north and east of the country.