Norwegian NGO condemns abduction of aid workers

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 February 2006, 11:12 GMT]
FORUT, a Norwegian non-Governmental Organizaton that works in Sri Lanka, said in a press release issued 2 February that it "condemned strongly the abduction of 10 workers from TRO in eastern Sri Lanka," and urged the "Government of Sri Lanka to give highest priority to the investigation of these abductions."

Full text of the release follows:

FORUT condemns strongly the abduction of 10 aid workers from Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in eastern Sri Lanka. Five of them were abducted on their way to a meeting organised by FORUT in Kilinochchi. FORUT demands that all aid workers who are still not released should be released immediately, and that the Srilankan policy gives highest priority to the investigation of the abductions.

The five last to be abducted were on a mission to the Batticaloa District on behalf of the Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children Sri Lanka when they were abducted on Monday. They were reported missing when the failed to show up at a meeting organised by FORUT in Kilinochchi on Tuesday morning.

FORUT condemns any attack on aid workers, regardless of whether they are local or international. National aid workers must have the same security as internationals, and they are vital in reaching war-, tsunami and flood victims with aid. They work to help people in need, and have a right to respect and safety from harm. – FORUT therefore demands that they eight people who are still kept prisoner should be released immediately, and no harm come to them, says FORUT’s Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Terje Heggernes, who is currently spending holidays in Norway.

It is particularly important that this kind of criminal activity does not become a cause for revenge and escalation of violence in a situation where the ceasefire agreement is fragile. FORUT therefore asks the Government of Sri Lanka to give highest priority to the investigation of these abductions.

Gjøvik, 2 February 2006

FORUT-Norway
Morten Lønstad
Secretary General

 

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