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INGOs agree to prevent equipment falling into LTTE hands

International Non-Govermental Organisations carrying out humanitarian assistance in the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, where the Military is on the offensive, have agreed to secure all equipment in their possession to prevent it falling into the hands of the LTTE, government sources said yesterday.

"If not they agreed to bring all these equipment into government controlled areas after the government warned that stern action would be taken against INGOs which allowed such equipment to be utilized by the LTTE for military purposes against the security forces," the sources said.

The decision was taken following a meeting the INGOs had with Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe as the Chairman of the Consultative Committe on Humaniterian Asisstance (CCHA) at the Ministry of Defence on Friday last week.

Minister Samarasinghe, during the meeting, warned of stern action against all INGOs and NGOs unless they disclosed all their assets in the Vanni.

Senior advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa, MP, was present with US Ambassador Robert O’ Blake, French Ambassador Neil Beuine who represented the EU as France now holds the EU Presidency and Resident Coordinator of the UN. Local heads of UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, WFP, ILO, OCHA and Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies were present.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told The Island that the whole idea behind this meeting was to ensure that the LTTE does not repeat what happened to the NPA vehicles.

He said they had agreed to cooperate with the government to ensure that there would be no repeat. All the INGOs and NGOs present agreed to secure their equipment or transfermovable assets into government controlled areas because the UN always maintains that equipment is used purely for humanitarian assistance.

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