Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

Published on - 7/7/2008

ICRC Deputy Head Shares His Concerns with Commander

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF RED CROSS (ICRC) Deputy Head of Delegation Mr Anthony Dalziel had an audience with Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka at his office this morning (7), in order to discuss several concerns in relation to their operations in Wanni.

Mr Dalziel, citing reasons that attributed to their temporary pull-out from their duty points around Omanthai and Vavuniya, sought the best co-operation of the Army to carry out their duties, free from danger or any life-threatening situations. Commander of the Army in response assured the visiting delegate of maximum support to the ICRC and told him that Air Force as well as all other wings of the Security Forces continue to remain highly sensitive to the ICRC serving positions in the Wanni. Commander also told the visiting ICRC Deputy Head that since of recent times, LTTE appears to be in the practice of planting various stories on 'disappearances' purely for the sake of tarnishing the image of the Army and the Security Forces in general.

“Next of kin of many Tiger cadres, getting killed during those offensive operations are never informed of the fate of those young ones who had either been abducted or conscripted by the LTTE, in many instances even without the knowledge of their kith and kin. Such cases are also listed as people who had gone 'missing' from Wanni,” the Commander pointed out.

Commander also reminded the visiting delegate of possibilities available for civil court cases under the existing legal provisions of the country.“Strangely enough, many of those spouses, guardians or next of kin seldom bother to go to the nearest Police station and make a formal complaint on the so-called disappearance. Our legal system has enough provisions to investigate into such cases, provided a formal complaint is lodged at first. But it is not what is happening,” Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka opined.

During the near thirty-minute cordial discussion, Commander reiterated his commitment to provide necessary security and all possible assistance to the ICRC, enabling them to effectively implement their role in conflict-ridden areas and requested the ICRC to be aware of ground realities.