Colombo admits Sri Lanka Navy shot NGO worker

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 June 2007, 15:58 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) sailor who was guarding a sentry post at the SLN naval detachment shot the International NGO worker Wednesday night wounding the Philippino national as he "failed to stop walking towards the SLN point ignoring the warning shots" fired by a SLN sailor on duty, a spokesman at the Sri Lankan government media centre said Thursday. The shooting incident comes a day after UN expressed deep concern regarding the safety and security of humanitarian workers in the aftermath of an interview by the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary who charged that the NGO and UN have been infiltrated by the Tigers for 30 years.

Antonio Villeomour from Philippines, attached to Mercy Corps, an International NGO, was shot while he was walking back to his residence Wednesday night.

"A sailor who was performing sentry duties issued verbal warnings and as there was no response fired warning shots at the unidentified person who walked towards the security area. The unidentified person has then run towards the Club Oceanic hotel in Trincomalee," the media centre for SL National Security said.

Mercy Corps, a Portland-based International Relief Agency with offices in North America, Europe and Asia, has more than 3,400 staff working in nearly 40 countries and reach more than 14.4 million people in more than 35 countries.

The agency provides emergency relief, supports long-term economic opportunities and civil society to promote democratization, to observe law and human rights, and to create conditions for peaceful change.

Mercy Corps' work in the Trincomalee District, originally focused on tsunami response and later changed to recovery and development for both tsunami and conflict-affected communities.


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