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27 January 2009

The UN and international aid agencies, that are rushing assistance to over 250,000 civilians trapped in war-ridden northern Sri Lanka, have asked all sides in the conflict to ensure that people are treated according to international humanitarian law. The recent surge in fighting between the government forces and the LTTE has prompted warnings from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other UN officials about the humanitarian impact of the conflict on the people of Sri Lanka. [...] Since early October, some 519 trucks have transported over 8,000 tons of food from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), as well as water and sanitation materials, school supplies, clothing and household goods supplied by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNHCR.


22 January 2009

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Thursday for humanitarian assistance to be delivered to civilians cut off by government and rebel clashes in the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka, reproted dpa. Steinmeier expressed concern for more than 300,000 refugees on a coastal 30-kilometre strip of land, in the area held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel group. "They have been completely cut off from international aid for more than 10 days," the German foreign minister said. "The most important thing now is to negotiate a ceasefire, to enable aid deliveries and medical care for the civilians in the disputed areas," he added. [...] International aid organizations were advised by the Sri Lankan government to leave the disputed north-east region in September 2008. The United Nations World Food Programme and the ICRC are the only two aid organizations operating in the region. Germany's ambassador to Colombo recently angered the Sri Lankan government with comments made at the funeral of a murdered newspaper editor.


17 January 2009

COLOMBO: The World Food Programme (WFP) has sent a convoy of food in 59 lorries to Wanni. The food was for distribution among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the uncleared areas, WFP Country Representative Adnan Khan said. “The food convoy is to feed 230,000 IDP families and is expected to last for a week,” Khan said. The lorries carried 800 metric tonnes of mixed food like rice, wheat flour, dhal and oil, and would be distributed to IDP’s in the uncleared areas of Mullaithivu, he said.


16 January 2009

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that intense fighting in northern Sri Lanka has caused a "massive displacement" of civilians. It says thousands of people trapped inside rebel-held territory have had to flee several times in recent months. An ICRC official, Paul Castella, told the BBC that fighting had stopped relief supplies being delivered to rebel-held areas for nearly a week. He said that there were serious concerns about a lack of food. A Sri Lankan military spokesman insisted a supply convoy had been sent to the rebel-held territory and that there were adequate stocks of food.


5 January 2009

Sri Lankan forces overran another village Monday and moved closer to seizing a strategic base from the Tamil Tigers, but concerns are mounting for the hundreds of thousands of civilians living in the rebels' shrinking territory.