LTTE guarantees safety and security for ICRC
[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 May 2009, 08:58 GMT]
Dispelling hints and accusations by certain sections that the LTTE has not guaranteed safe passage to the ICRC to bring in humanitarian relief such as food and medicine, the LTTE political head B. Nadesan in a letter dated 4th May, has given a written assurance that the LTTE reiterates its full commitment and support to the ICRC in its humanitarian and mandated activities. Nadesan requested to consider the letter as a necessary security guarantee. Nadesan was accusing that it was the Sri Lanka government and its forces that were blocking the activities of the ICRC by launching military manoeuvres. Even on Thursday, around 10 AM, Colombo’s forces were shelling towards the ICRC vehicles that had come to the shore to undertake transportation of the wounded civilians, and there were minor damages to the vehicles, LTTE officials said.
LTTE's Political Head B. Nadesan
It has become almost a routine for SLA to shell the sea area even when the ICRC ship comes and transfers the injured. "It is a deliberate act to discourage the exercise and to threaten patients and volunteers," Mr. B. Nadesan charged.
On Wednesday, while talking on a UN team going to the conflict zone, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that GoSL was allowing them to approach by sea through ICRC ship, but his position was that ‘they should be able to land’, to carryout humanitarian relief work, to assess the situation and for the IC to evacuate civilians safely to a ‘safe zone’.
While the Secretary General sounded as though he was linking humanitarian relief with evacuation, his statement also made many to wonder whether it is the LTTE that is blocking UN taking food and medicine to the civilians.
There were also other IC circles, which in their correspondences said that the LTTE has not given any assurances for the safe delivery of humanitarian relief. This is a tactic for putting the blame on the LTTE, Tamil circles said.
Meanwhle, LTTE’s Director of Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan provided a copy of the letter which was sent to the ICRC by the LTTE Political Head on Monday.
Mr. Puleedevan also supplied photographs of ICRC vehicles that he said were hit by SLA fire Thursday morning.
Full text of the letter follows:
Political Head Quarters,
Liberation Tigers of TamilEelam.
Head of Mission,
I write on behalf of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to inform you that our organisation reiterates its full commitment and support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We also wish to reiterate our organisation’s total commitment to the safety and security of the members of the ICRC in carrying out its humanitarian work and its other mandated activities. Please take this letter as the necessary security guarantees from the LTTE for performing the work of the ICRC.
We are aware of the GOSL and its armed forces’ attempts at deliberately launching military manoeuvres in LTTE controlled areas to thwart the activities of the ICRC. We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation of all the invaluable work done by the ICRC with regards to the immensely suffering Tamil civilian population due to the genocidal war waged against the Tamil people by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).
Head of the Political Wing.