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Sri Lanka: ICRC assists the civilian population displaced in the Eastern Province

10-12-2006 News Release

The ICRC is deeply concerned about the impact on civilians – loss of life, injuries and displacement –resulting from four days of artillery exchanges between the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in three areas of Trincomalee district.

 Press release issued by the ICRC delegation in Colombo on 10 December 2006  

More than 2,300 civilians have already abandoned their houses in the Kallar area and have reached the town of Kantale, while at least another thousand more are on the road fleeing the fighting. The ICRC immediately provided these displaced families with 800 hygiene kits (soap, washing powder, razors, bath towels and shampoo), 600 jerry cans and 300 tarpaulins.

Meanwhile, the ICRC is also installing sanitary facilities and water-distribution systems at Bathiyagama school in Kantale town, where more than 500 displaced people have taken shelter. This relief operation was launched in cooperation with the local authorities and other humanitarian organizations currently operating on the ground, including UNICEF and UNHCR.

As for the more than 40 seriously injured civilians and SLA soldiers transferred to Kantale over the past two days, the ICRC has supplied the local hospital with urgently-needed dressing and injection material.

The ICRC reminds both parties to the conflict of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. It urgently calls upon both parties to ensure the protection of the civilian population as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Finally, the ICRC urges the parties to respect the freedom of movement of internally displaced people.