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Thursday, May 21, 2009

India to airlift another Rs. 3 crore medical aid to war ravaged Sri Lanka

New Delhi, 19 May (asiantribune.com): India will provide another Rs. 30 million worth medical aid to Sri Lanka, the foreign office announced on Monday even as a local TV channel, CNN-IBN reported that external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a confirmation on Velupillai Prabhakaran’s end.

An Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft carrying about 25 tons of medicines will leave Delhi for Colombo on Friday, May 22, the official statement said. This will be disbursed to the sick and wounded Internally Displaced People (IDP) in northern Sri Lanka. The Indian Armed Forces have set up a fully equipped 50-bedded hospital close to an IDP Camp at Pulmodai, a town on Sri Lanka’s northeast coast.

’The 60-member medical team comprising specialists, surgeons and pediatricians have treated over 3,000 people, mainly war wounded, trauma and fractures, in the past two months since the hospital came up. The Sri Lankan government has lauded the humanitarian work done by the team of doctors from the Indian armed forces in mitigating the sufferings of the civilian Tamil population in the war-ravaged island nation’, the statement said.

It added that acting on a request from the Sri Lankan government, the Field Hospital will soon be shifted to Menik Farms in Vavuniya to widen scope of the humanitarian assistance. A need was felt for including a Gynecologist in the team of doctors but experts said that since the Field Hospital lacks specialized medical equipment and support staff, this would not be feasible at the moment. A lady Medical Officer present in the team was capable of handling routine problems related to women patients.

Cong on Prabhakaran

Congress spokesman Janardan Dwivedi said the government would formally react to the reports on Prabhakaran’s death. ‘Sri Lanka is a sensitive issue. Our Foreign Minister is meeting the Prime Minister. The Government of India will contact the Sri Lankan government to ascertain the fact’, he said as agencies flashed the news of end to LTTE chief.

He said the government of India will give a reaction on the issue later and that will also be the official response of the party.

Communist Party of India, CPI, on the other hand, termed the situation in Sri Lanka as “grave”. The party’s national secretary D Raja, who hails from Tamil Nadu, criticized that the Delhi appeared unconcerned about the situation in Northern Lanka. He said India must press Colombo to announce a political package to empower the ethnic minority of the island nation.

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