Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: UN agencies and partners condemn killings of two aid workers

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United Nations agencies and their partners on the ground today condemned in the strongest possible terms the brutal killings of two workers of the Sri Lankan Red Cross, warning that this is a sign of intensified danger for relief personnel.

In a statement issued today, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) country team in the South Asian country - comprising UN agencies and its partners including the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Oxfam and Save the Children - said that the circumstances surrounding the abduction and killings of the workers demand that the police investigate the case thoroughly.

"The IASC is deeply concerned about the security of all aid workers in Sri Lanka," the Committee said, recalling that just ten months ago, 17 aid workers from Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) were killed in Sri Lanka.

"These latest killings are an ominous sign of an evolving situation in which aid workers are facing increasing difficulties in delivering assistance to needy populations."

The Committee's members called for those behind the killings to be brought to justice and for confidence to be restored to the humanitarian environment.

Yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killings, voicing concern about the security of civilians and aid workers in Sri Lanka and reminding "all parties in the country that aid workers have a right to protection at all times," according to a statement by his spokesperson.