"Humanitarian Corridor" set up for civilians to escape LTTE terror
The Ministry of Defence has taken swift measures to
establish a "Safe Corridor" so that civilians trapped in uncleared areas
can escape to safe ground. Minister of Disaster Management and Human
Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe while welcoming the move of the MoD said
that the overriding interest of the Government was to ensure the safety
and security of conflict-affected civilians who were being invited to
seek the protection of the security forces in cleared areas in Vavuniya.
"The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to further
develop Vavuniya as a storage and logistic hub for humanitarian
assistance including food and non-food items. The ongoing efforts of the
Government in this connection are been complemented by international
partners who have also commenced stockpiling food and humanitarian
supplies for civilians escaping from or displaced by the armed
conflict," the Ministry of Human Rights said in a statement issued today
Minister Samarasinghe also added that work has
commenced on the upgrading of a garment factory in close proximity to
the current Vavuniya logistic hub for both inter-agency storage and
office facilities. Civilians who escape to Vavuniya will thus be able to
access the full gamut of humanitarian assistance that the Government,
supplemented by its international partners, is providing.
He said that the Government was appreciative of the
efforts of the UN agencies, International and local non-government
organizations in supplementing the Government's initiative in caring for
conflict affected communities in the entirety of the North, especially
those persons displaced by the conflict.
The Minister called on all relevant parties to ensure
that civilians are allowed to use the safe humanitarian corridor and
assist them to travel to secure areas without any hindrance.
Minister Samarasinghe said that he would ensure all
necessary facilitation and coordination among the Government, the donor
community, UN and other international agencies and organizations, in the
provision of humanitarian assistance and relief to civilians in the
North through the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA).
Courtesy: Government Information Department