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Sri Lanka: Emergency food aid reaches north-east

04-06-1997 News Release 97/21

The first in a series of ICRC-escorted food convoys has reached communities affected by the fighting in north-eastern Sri Lanka. Starting last Saturday, about 80 Sri Lankan government trucks, escorted by ICRC vehicles, brought emergency supplies (rice, dhal and flour) to displaced people and destitute local residents in the area around the town of Periamadhu. A further 48 trucks are due to arrive at the same destination on Wednesday. This is the first time a humanitarian convoy has been able to reach this area since the Sri Lankan government's offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was launched three weeks ago.

In accordance with established procedure in Sri Lanka, the government channels essential supplies to the civilian communities in LTTE areas through its resident agents on the spot. Such humanitarian operations are set up following an agreement reached by the two warring parties and are conducted under the protection of the Red Cross flag.

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