The ICRC has closed its office in Vavuniya after the Sri Lankan government requested the organization to run its operations exclusively from Colombo, the ICRC announced today.
Vavuniya was the last ICRC office in the north of the country, as the office in Jaffna had already closed at the end of February.
"In its role as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC worked with the parties to the conflict to protect and assist the victims of the fighting, for example by facilitating the movement of medical services and the transfer of human remains," explained Romain Cachemaille, the outgoing head of the Vavuniya Office.
The ICRC has been working in the Vavuniya area since 1989, when it first opened an office in Anuradhapura to help people affected by the security situation. In 1997, the ICRC established a permanent presence in the town of Vavuniya. Over the years, the organization extended its work to the surrounding districts of Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar.