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India asks Sri Lanka to take over hospital set up for refugees

2009-08-05 08:24 BJT

COLOMBO, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- India has requested the Sri Lankan government to take over the Indian hospital at Cheddikulam in the northern Vavuniya district set up to meet the emergent needs of the internally displaced persons (IDP) arriving there from the northern battle fields several months ago, the Sri Lankan government said Tuesday.

The Department of Government Information said in a statement that the request came after India has successfully completed the mission of treatment to the IDPs.

The statement quoted Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Alok Prasad as saying that since most of the emergent needs have been met, India intends to withdraw its medical team and close down the hospital from Aug. 31.

"Since a very useful facility has been set up and the physical infrastructure of the hospital will remain in place, you may like to consider that the hospital may be taken over by the Ministry of Health on Aug.31, 2009," Prasad said in letter addressed to Sri Lankan Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva.

The Indian medical team arrived in the island on March 10 and set up a hospital in Pulmoddai of the eastern Trincomalee district to receive sick and injured IDPs being brought by ship of the Internationl Committe of Red Cross from the areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels.

After the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was defeated in May 19, the medical team and the hospital shifted to IDP camps in Menik Farms of the Vavuniya district to cater to the medical requirements of the IDPs.

India has pledged to help the Sri Lankan government to resettle most of the 300,000 IDPs to their original home within six months.

The LTTE had been fighting to carve out an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east for more than two decades before they were defeated by the government troops.

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: Xinhua