Thursday, September 14, 2006

Red Cross Clarifies Mandate in Ampara

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently held a press conference at its office in Ampara. The purpose of the announcement, explained Communication Coordinator Davide Vignati, was to inform the media of the ICRC's activities and mandate in Sri Lanka, as there have been concerns about misleading reports in some newspaper articles lately.

“Incorrect information damages the image of ICRC and the works it is carrying out here. ICRC worries about serving the affected people of all communities - immaterial of race, religion, caste, or creed - and not [specifically] the LTTE or the government. Supporting any one of these groups makes our work more complicated and difficult,” explained Mr. Vignati. “ICRC assists only the people affected by natural or man-made disasters. It rescues people and provides food, shelter, water, sanitation, and health assistance. It also creates links among family members lost at the time of disasters.”

Mr. Vignati requested that media personnel verify their information concerning ICRC with him before reporting it to the public. The Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (Ampara), Marie-Servane Desjonqueres, was also present at the press conference.