Red Cross member killed in Sri Lanka’s war-zone

March 5th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 5 (IANS) The Red Cross Thursday said one of its staff members was killed while his nine-year-old son was wounded in Sri Lanka’s rebel-held north-eastern coastal village, where the advancing troops and the cornered Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in heavy fighting.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that its local staff member, Vadivel Vijayakumar “severely injured by shrapnel just north of Valayanmadam” Wednesday “succumbed to his injuries at the makeshift medical facility in Putumattalan”. Valayanmadam lies on the coastal belt of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-held territory

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of our dear friend and colleague Vadivel Vijayakumar, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” said Anthony Dalziel, the ICRC’s deputy head of delegation in Colombo, in a statement.

“We also hope that his nine-year-old son, who was injured in the same incident, will receive the medical treatment he requires and soon recover from his injury,” said the international aid group’s statement issued both in Colombo and Geneva.

According to the statement, Vijayakumar, father of three, had held a permanent position as a water technician in the ICRC since 2004.

“In recent days he was involved in ICRC-facilitated medical evacuations, helping to bring patients from the makeshift medical facility in Putumattalan to the beach and then on to the ICRC ferry for evacuation to Trincomalee,” it said, adding the ICRC would continue to carry out its essential activities to help conflict-affected people throughout the country.

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