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Indian medical team in Sri Lanka next week


Colombo : India will send a medical team to Sri Lanka next week to provide emergency care to civilians displaced by the fighting between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the island’s north.

“As agreed between the government of Sri Lanka and government of India, an Indian medical team will arrive in Colombo Monday. The medical team will comprise eight experienced physicians and surgeons as well as paramedical staff and technical staff,” the Indian high commission said here Friday in a statement.

It said the team will establish an emergency medical unit, including a hospital at Pulmodai in the eastern district of Trincomalee, aiming to supplement the existing medical facilities of Sri Lanka’s health ministry in that area.

Saying they would provide humanitarian relief and emergency medical care to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the north, the statement said the team will also carry all necessary medical equipment and medicines required by the emergency medical unit.

“In addition, a consignment of urgently needed medicines and other supplies worth approximately Sri Lankan Rs.70 million will also be brought by the team and handed over to the health ministry,” it said.

Over 35,000 people from the war-zone in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-held areas have entered government-held areas since January and are being temporarily resettled in the northern Vavuniya and Jaffna districts.

The military says the LTTE is now cornered into an area less than 50 square km, holding thousands of civilians as human shields.