ICRC marks 25 years of humanitarian work in Sri Lanka

Saturday, 18 October 2014 02:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Colombo (ICRC): On 16 October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) marked the 25th anniversary of its humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka. “During the past quarter century, the ICRC has striven to protect and assist people detained in connection with the uprising of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, and subsequently those who were affected by the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, such as detainees, displaced people and returnees,” said Cherine Pollini, Head of the ICRC delegation in Sri Lanka. “These days, the ICRC responds to remaining humanitarian needs caused by the past conflict.” As part of this endeavour, the ICRC has continued to visit all detainees – not only those held in connection with the past conflict – to assess their treatment and living conditions. On the basis of the results of an island-wide survey, it intends to recommend to the authorities a program to address the economic, psychosocial, legal and administrative needs of families of missing persons. The ICRC is currently helping vulnerable persons in the former conflict areas with livelihood support and cleaning wells, building water supply systems and toilets for school children, returnees and other civilians in those areas. It also carries out small-scale infrastructure construction and reconstruction in places of detention throughout the country to improve the living conditions of detainees. In addition, it promotes international humanitarian law among armed forces personnel, Government officials and academics. Furthermore, the ICRC is supporting its national partner, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, in its efforts to develop its ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies, to administer first aid, and to help family members separated by conflict, disaster or migration to stay in touch. The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.