Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

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Sri Lanka: ICRC carries on evacuation of sick and wounded by sea

Monday, February 16th, 2009

[International Committee of the Red Cross]

A ferry flying the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) left Putumattalan today for Trincomalee with over 400 passengers on board, including patients and accompanying family members. “The ICRC was able to take action because both parties granted safe passage to our ship and gave us their active support,” said Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. Civil and military authorities in Putumattalan, Trincomalee and Jaffna as well as local people were also instrumental in ensuring that the wounded and sick were brought to hospital rapidly. Sri Lanka Red Cross Society volunteers participated in the operation by helping to disembark and transfer the patients.

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S Lanka civilian attacks denied

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

[BBC]

The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels have both denied accusations of inflicting civilian casualties in the north-east. The army said it was not responsible for the shelling of a makeshift hospital which the Red Cross (ICRC) said had killed 16 people on Monday. The Tamil Tigers denied shooting dead 19 fleeing civilians. Meanwhile the ICRC says a boat carrying 240 wounded civilians from the war area has arrived safely in Trincomalee.

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Sri Lanka: ICRC evacuates over 240 wounded and sick from the Vanni by sea

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

[ICRC]

A ferry flying the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is currently evacuating about 240 patients from Putumattalan to Trincomalee. They had fled Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital in the northern Vanni region on 4 February after it sustained repeated shelling. The patients are expected to arrive in Trincomalee this evening and receive medical treatment. The operation started after both parties had granted safe passage. Civil authorities, medical staff, the fishermen’s union and church representatives are also actively supporting the evacuation. An additional 160 patients still in Putumattalan should be evacuated on 11 February.

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The anguish of Sri Lanka

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[Boston Globe]

THE SHELLING of a hospital pediatric ward Sunday in Sri Lanka gave the world a glimpse of the scorched-earth offensive Sri Lanka’s government has been conducting against the secessionist Tamil Tigers. UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed shock that the hospital was shelled, leaving children and their mothers mutilated, dead, and dying. It does not matter whether the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse or the Tiger leadership is most to blame for the suffering of 250,000 civilians trapped in the war zone.

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Sri Lankan hospital closes after being shelled

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[CNN]

A hospital caught in the middle of fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka has been closed down after being shelled for a ninth time in four days. A U.N. official says the facility, the last functioning hospital in the area, was fully evacuated Wednesday morning in the midst of the onslaught. “Our staff has been dug down into bunkers for the past 18 hours under sustained artillery fire, which included cluster munitions this morning,” said U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss. “We hold grave fears for the safety of these [workers]. It also includes 81 staff members who are dug down in these bunkers.”

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UN: Cluster bombs hit hospital in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[AP]

Cluster bombs struck the last functioning hospital in Sri Lanka’s northern war zone Wednesday, the U.N. said, as the country’s president declared that the military has nearly crushed a 25-year Tamil rebellion for a separate homeland. U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said 15 U.N. staffers and 81 family members are trapped in the Puthukkudiyiruppu area, where the hospital was hit by cluster bombs. He said 90 percent of patients have been evacuated to the north including critically injured patients and the medical staff. “The last remaining medical facility inside the Vanni pocket has been effectively closed,” he said. Vanni is the area where the remaining fighting is taking place.

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Last hospital in Sri Lanka war zone evacuated

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

[ AP ]

Patients are fleeing a hospital that was hit four times by artillery shells in the war between the Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces in northern Sri Lanka this week, the Red Cross said Tuesday. Also Tuesday, the military said it had captured the rebels’ seventh and final airstrip, effectively grounding their tiny air force as troops pushed ahead with their offensive to crush the guerrilla group and end Asia’s longest-running civil war. On Monday, independent observers handed The Associated Press dramatic pictures and video, showing scores of civilians killed or maimed.

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Sri Lanka: UN official concerned over shelling of hospital, worsening civilian plight

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

[UN]

A United Nations humanitarian spokesman in Sri Lanka today voiced concern over the shelling of a hospital in the zone of fighting between the Government and rebel forces, emphasizing the ever-increasing threat to the lives of some 250,000 civilians trapped by the conflict. Gordon Weiss of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the hospital, in the north-east of the island nation, was shelled numerous times over the past day, resulting in the killing of 11 people altogether, including one nurse. Mr. Weiss said that it is uncertain where the shellfire came from but that his office had notified both the Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) about the damage, but the strikes have not halted.

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Images show many dead, wounded in Sri Lanka war

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

[AP]

Rare images of suffering civilians trapped in Sri Lanka’s war zone emerged Monday: Dead parents still cradling their children. A teenage boy with no arms crying in despair. A severely crowded hospital with many patients lying on mats under already full beds. The photographs and video footage of scores of dead and wounded, which were handed to The Associated Press by independent observers traveling in the war zone, are a glimpse of the some 250,000 civilians trapped in the shrinking jungle battle zone as Sri Lanka tries to finally crush the Tamil Tigers after a 25-year war.

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Aid groups: Sri Lanka situation ‘nightmarish’

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

[CNN]

International humanitarian aid agencies called Monday for increased access to the “nightmarish situation” in northern Sri Lanka, where government forces and Tamil rebels are locked in battle. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are thought to be trapped by the fighting. The plea came as artillery shells slammed into a hospital in the northern district of Mullaittivu, where civilians — including a growing number of children — are being treated. “We don’t know how many lives exactly, but there was a third strike on the hospital around about midnight,” said Gordon Weiss, a U.N. spokesman who talked to a member of the U.N. staff at the hospital early Monday.

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