UN assures help for Wanni civilians
UN: The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Sri Lanka
yesterday announced that the UN remains fully committed to assisting the
Government in its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those
civilians who remain in the Wanni and to those civilians who leave the
Wanni, a news release issued by the UN office of the Resident
Humanitarian Coordinator for Sri Lanka said yesterday.
While reiterating its commitment to assisting the Government in its
effort to provide humanitarian assistance the UN office also states that
it has raised with the LTTE its urgent concern that civilians be allowed
maximum freedom of movement at all times.
The Sri Lanka office of the UN came out with this statement a day
after the Government announced comprehensive plans to open a
humanitarian corridor to help civilians trapped in the Wanni to move
from uncleared areas to Vavuniya for their safety and also to assist the
civilians in Wanni by sending them essential food items with the
assistance of the WFP.
“The UN remains fully committed to assisting the Government in its
effort to provide humanitarian assistance to those who remain in Wanni
and to those civilians who leave the Wanni. Measures must be taken to
prevent displacing people from their homes and livelihood,” the
statement issued by the UN office in Sri Lanka said.
It further said the UN in Sri Lanka acknowledges the announcement by
the Government of Sri Lanka of additional measures that are intended to
facilitate the freedom of movement of civilians who had been affected by
fighting in the Wanni.
Measures that comply with international obligations governing the
protection of civilians during the armed conflict provide vital options
for civilians as they make individual choices about where to seek safety
and succor, the statement further added. The Government raised its
concern about the humanitarian crisis looming in the Wanni with the LTTE
restricting the freedom of movement of the civilians entrapped there,
with the announcement of an humanitarian corridor opened for the
civilians to flee the area.
According to Wanni sources more than 30,000 displaced civilians and
more than 200,000 civilian population is now entrapped in the Wanni
without access to cleared areas due to restrictions imposed on their
movements by the LTTE.
The latest information indicates that thousands of civilians have
been pushed to Iranamadu area close to Kilinochchi by the LTTE with the
intention of creating a human shield to prevent retaliatory attacks of
the Security Forces.