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SLA blocks gateway to Vanni civilians for 5th day

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 17:37 No Comment]

A woman, wounded in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombardment on 01 January succumbed to her wounds Monday night and other patients in need of urgent medical transport from Puthukkudiyiruppu to Vavuniyaa with ICRC escort remain blocked for days despite repeated attempts to access the road, which remained under Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery fire, as reported earlier. In the meantime, officials at the Government Agent’s office in Vavuniyaa told media that the SLA has turned away humanitarian convoys despite their repeated attempts. Civilians in Vanni are refused essential supplies and refused critical medical transport, in violation to Geneva Conventions.

The officials in Vavuniyaa, responsible for facilitating humanitarian supplies to civilians in Vanni, complained that the SLA had turned away their convoys despite their repeated attempts, at least five times, since Thursday.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson with the ICRC told journalists in Colombo that they were unable to provide escort to the humanitarian convoys due to the security situation. The ICRC spokesperson also admitted that the movement of wounded civilians remained blocked as the ambulances heading for Vavuniyaa from the conflict zone were halted due to the closure of the roads.

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