ICRC evacuates 161 persons from Jaffna peninsula [Monday, August 28, 2006 - 8.45 GMT]

More than 150 persons evacuated from the Jaffna peninsula by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have arrived in the capital, Colombo. They were among 161 persons who had traveled overnight from Jaffna to the eastern port of Trincomalee onboard a passenger ship flying the ICRC flag. Recent fighting has cut off the peninsula from the rest of Sri Lanka.

According to an ICRC media release, the sea journey and the subsequent bus trip from Trincomalee to Colombo passed off without any incidents. ICRC personnel accompanied the evacuees throughout their journey. The majority of them are foreign nationals including some staff of relief organisations. The passengers also included three persons requiring medical care. The list of persons evacuated from Jaffna was established by the local authorities there.

"This operation emphasizes the importance of having a strictly humanitarian, neutral intermediary like the ICRC working in Sri Lanka," said Peter Krakolinig, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. "It was possible because the parties to the conflict gave us the necessary security guarantees. We are in touch with both sides to discuss carrying out further evacuations from the Jaffna peninsula in the near future.

“Meanwhile, the unloading of a cargo ship flying the ICRC flag continues in Point Pedro on the Jaffna peninsula. The vessel is carrying 1,500 tonnes of food and medicine provided by the government and the World Food Programme.”







































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Last Updated Date: August 28, 2006 -8.45 GMT


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