Sri Lanka: ICRC staff member killed in conflict area

Geneva/Colombo (ICRC) – A staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was hit by a shell and killed instantly this morning while fetching water for his family near Ampalavanpokanai, on the coastal belt of the territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“We feel devastated and are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend and colleague Sinnathurai Kugathasan,” said Paul Castella, the head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to all of his family and friends.”

Mr Kugathasan was married and the father of three children. He had been working for the ICRC since 2002 as a water technician. In recent days, he was involved in the 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 transfer to Trincomalee and Pulomoddai.

On 4 March, Vadivel Vijayakumar, another ICRC water technician involved in the medical evacuations, was also killed by shrapnel in the coastal area just north of Valayanmadam.

The ICRC continues its essential activities to help conflict-affected people throughout the country.

For further information, please contact:
Sarasi Wijeratne, ICRC Colombo, tel: +94 11 250 33 46 or +94 773 1588 44
Simon Schorno, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 93 02
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