Omanthai entry/exit point to be reopened
COLOMBO: Omanthai entry/exit point will be reopened for the
civilian movement today after being closed for almost two weeks.
Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe
addressing a news conference held at the European Commission Delegation
office yesterday said he decision was taken after ICRC officials
discussed with the defence ministry.
The ICRC submitted two proposals to open the Omanthai entry/exit
point. “The ICRC officials submitted two proposals to the Government to
open the entry point for civilians. The first proposal was the entry
point would be opened three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The second proposal was to open it for three hours six days a week,” he
The Minister said the Government agreed to open the entry point on
the basis of the first proposal - three days a week. “The government
agreed to open the entry point immediately and the ICRC officials will
submit the proposal to the LTTE to take their agreement also. The entry
point will be opened tomorrow or within 48 hours,” he added.
The government and bilateral donor group signed a set of 10 guiding
principles for humanitarian and development assistance in Sri Lanka,
Minister Samarasinghe said.
“The principles are internationally recognized and already valued all
around the world. They are working in the reconstruction of country
people effected by tsunami and ethnic conflict. Theses principles are
recognised under humanitarian law,” he added.
The Minister also emphasized that these principles will ensure
transparency and countability and national security interest.
The guiding principles are intended to reassure the people of Sri
Lanka about the constructive and professional approach underpinning our
work in Sri Lanka.
They show the commitment by donors and their implementing partners to
give aid impartially to provide humanitarian and development help to
citizens in need, not to fuel conflict or terrorism, Head of Delegation
European Commission Julian Wilson said.
“The principles commit donors and agencies to share information with
government and the public about their work,” he added.
“The guiding principles also underline the conditions required to
enable donors and their implementing partners to work, such as having
access to all people in need to provide help and receiving security
needed to carry out our work,” Wilson remarked.
These principles were not invented or negotiated for Sri Lanka
specifically. They are internationally accepted norms for aid work. They
are enshrined in the international code of conduct of the NGO’s and Red
Cross/Crescent Movement. They are also found in the each donor’s
“Minister Samarasinghe attended the signing ceremony with the
donors,” he said.
The donor countries that signed the guiding principles are Australia,
Canada, European Commission, Germany, Greece, Japan, Netherlands,
Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, UN and USA. All NGOs and
other implementing partners funded by the these donors, such as UN and
World Bank, are committed to follow these guiding principles.