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Sri Lanka: ICRC personnel present at Omanthai crossing point five days a week

24-08-2007 News Release 07/15

At the request of the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the ICRC has agreed to extend its presence at Omanthai crossing point in Vavuniya district to five days a week (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) from Monday 27 August 2007.

The decision was announced today in Colombo by Toon Vandenhove, the ICRC head of delegation, following discussions with the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE.

In June, the organization reduced its presence at the crossing points to three days a week, following a number of security incidents that jeopardized the safety of civilians crossing the line and that of ICRC personnel.

Meanwhile, Uyilankulam crossing point in Mannar district will continue to have an ICRC presence on the usual three days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), as many fewer people use that crossing.

The ICRC has been present at the Lines since 2002. The aim is to build confidence between the parties to the conflict and facilitate the flow of civilians and goods between Government- and LTTE-controlled areas. This year, an average of 25,000 people and 4,000 vehicles have passed through the crossing points each month.

For further information, please contact:
  Davide Vignati, ICRC Colombo, tel +94 11 250 33 46 or +94 77 728 96 82