Sri Lanka: ICRC unable to transport mortal remains
26-10-2007 News Release 07/107
Colombo (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was unable to transfer the remains of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) personnel killed last Monday in Anuradhapura.
This is because the ICRC's involvement in the transfer would have required a prior request from both parties. " For us to be able to transfer mortal remains, both the government and the LTTE would have had to directly contact us and ask for our involvement " , said Peter Krakolinig, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. " That did not happen. "
On 24 October, the Sri Lanka Security Forces informed the ICRC that the remains of LTTE members had been buried in Anuradhapura.
Over the years, the ICRC has regularly returned the remains of members of both parties to the conflict. So far this year, the organization has transported across the front lines the bodies of 28 Sri Lanka army personnel and of 67 LTTE members.
The ICRC has been working in Sri Lanka since 1989. Its activities include the role of neutral intermediary, protecting and assisting the civilian population, visiting detainees, restoring contact between members of separated families and promoting international humanitarian law.For further information, please contact:
Davide Vignati, ICRC Colombo, tel : +94 11 250 33 46 or +94 77 728 96 82
Florian Westphal, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2282 or +41 79 217 3280