The International Committee of the Red Cross closes its Jaffna Office after a service period of 21 years.
Florence Gillette, the head of its office in Jaffna said they were closing after 21 years of service. She emphasized that this was an important moment in the history of the ICRC’s work in Sri Lanka. She said they remain committed to responding to needs arising from the conflict, which they will often do in partnership with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. The ICRC will maintain its support for the Jaffna Jaipur Centre for Disability Rehabilitation, which has been assisting amputees and other disabled people for over 20 years. Red Cross family visit programme aimed at maintaining family links between relatives and persons held in prisons and elsewhere will henceforth be run by the ICRC office in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society branch in Vavuniya.
During the period when the A9 Highway was not accessible to the public, ICRC helped ensure that public services continued to be provided in the Jaffna Peninsula. Mrs. Gillette said it escorted Government vessels transporting civilians and food for the population in Jaffna. At times, the ICRC even carried the mail and school examination papers to Colombo.