Sri Lanka orders Red Cross to close northern officesBy DPA, IANS
Sunday, November 21, 2010
COLOMBO - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been ordered to close down two of its offices in the northern part of Sri Lanka, a spokesperson for the organisation said Sunday.
The Geneva-based organisation - which played a crucial role in providing humanitarian assistance during conflict between Tamil rebels and government forces for more than two decades - has been told close its offices in Jaffna and Mannar, spokesperson Sarasi Wijeratne said.
Though the decades-old civil war ended 18 months ago, the ICRC has continued to provide humanitarian assistance such as helping families affected by the war and those returning back to their homes.
Wijeratne said no reasons have been given for the directive, but they hope to have talks with the government about the matter.
The move comes after government issued a directive that all local and foreign non-governmental organisations operating in Sri Lanka would have to register with the defence ministry.
This has been done in order to keep strict control over these organisations, the information department said.