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ICRC calls for security guarantees
The Iinternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that it’s not able to take food and medical supplies on a regular basis to the no fire zone in northeastern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped.

ICRC spokesman Marcal Izard who spoke to the BBC from Geneva said that heavy fighting prevented the ICRC ferry getting close to the civilians in Mullaiwaikkal on a regular basis.

“The lack of security in the last seven days didn’t allow us to bring in food” said Izard.

He said that the ferry that arrived in the vicinity of Mullaiwaikkal in the early hours of Thursday morning was delayed until the afternoon due to heavy fighting.

Spokesman Izard confirmed that nearly six hundred civilians were taken on board for medical treatment and twenty five metric tons of food was delivered on Thursday.

The spokesman said that the ICRC has requested for security guarantees from both parties engaged in combat to ensure regular supplies.

ICRC helping


Meanwhile the Essential Services Commissioner General D. S Divaratna accused the LTTE of not cooperating with the government and the ICRC in providing food and medical supplies to the civilians of Mullaiwaikkal.

“If the LTTE is concerned for the civilians with them they could ask the food shipment to be sent to them" said Divaratna.

Meanwhile according to a letter published on a pro Tamil web site the Head of the LTTE political division B Nadesan has informed the ICRC head of mission in Colombo that the Tamil Tigers are willing to provide security guarantees to the ICRC staff.

Nadesan accuses the government of deliberately launching military manoeuvres in LTTE controlled areas to thwart the activities of the ICRC.

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