Colombo directs closure of Northern UN, ICRC offices

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 December 2010, 11:45 GMT]
Following directives from Sri Lanka Government authorities to close the branch offices of the United Nation agencies and the International Committtee of Red Cross (ICRC) in the North, these agencies are reducing the number of staff, civil society sources in Jaffna said. UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, and WFP offices are said to be affected by the directive from Colombo. A number of offices of the said organizations in Vanni area have already ceased operations. Meanwhile, British Members of Parliament raised concerns on the closure of the ICRC offices in Jaffna.

To a question raised by Siobhain McDonagh, MP, in the British Parliament on the issue of closure of the ICRC, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, said that the British Government was aware of the impending closure of two offices of the ICRC and added, "[t]he [British] Government have consistently pressed Sri Lanka to live up to its offer of post-conflict reconciliation, but moves such as restricting access to detainees and any restriction of the work of significant non-governmental organisations will make that process rather harder."

The UN organizations and the ICRC have been also operating mobile offices to help the displaced and resettled Tamils in the affected areas. The offices in Ki'linochchi, Mullaiththeevu and Mannaar areas were co-ordinating with the bigger branch offices located in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa.

Civil society sources in Jaffna say that the UN, ICRC offices are likely to cease operations in the North by the end of 2012.

The ICRC Office in Jaffna will likely close in January 2011, according to sources in Jaffna.

The delay in closing the ICRC office in Jaffna is due to the internal disagreements on deciding who to handover the remaining vehicles owned by the ICRC, sources added.

Colombo has been reportedly opposing the ICRC's moves to handover the vehicles to the Sri Lanka Red Cross, and has been insisting that the vehicles be handed over to the Jaffna Government Agent, sources close to the ICRC said.

With drastic cuts in fundings to these organizations, the local NGOs are also suffering severe shortage of funds to carry out humanitarian work, and many local employees losing work is imminent, civil sources in Jaffna added.


Chronology:


External Links:
UK: British Parliament on closing ICRC operations

 

Latest 15 Reports
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
10.08.19 22:49   Photo
Sinhala encroachers storm into 100 acres of lands at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai
09.08.19 14:28  
SL Forest Department retains 8,034 hectares of pasturelands in Paduvaan-karai, Batticaloa
08.08.19 20:05   Photo
Colombo converts 2000 acres of ex-HSZ lands citing India-assisted airport expansion in Jaffna
07.08.19 23:28   Photo
Book on Santhiya becomes narration of Tamil struggle incorporating Marxist ideas in early 80s
06.08.19 23:27   Photo
State discrimination causes death of 1000 cows, milk production drops by 5,500 litres in Batticaloa
05.08.19 23:55   Photo
Pirapaharan’s statements between 1984 and 1993 reproduced in book form in Europe
04.08.19 23:47   Photo
Threatened female activist suffers injuries in suspicious ‘accident’ in Batticaloa
03.08.19 23:55  
SL Army puts up military post, Buddhist chanting dominates Kanniyaa
02.08.19 21:18  
Tamils must fight back against illegal seizure of lands by SL Forest Department: Kurunathan
01.08.19 22:55  
38 parents of missing Tamils have perished during prolonged protest, mothers blame IC
31.07.19 23:39   Photo
Deception of so-called reconciliation at display in Kanniyaa: Tamil councillor
30.07.19 16:18   Photo
SL Police evades filing case against extremist monk in Neeraaviyadi
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33221