ICRC officials accused of covering up for LTTE
From Neville de Silva in London
Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) based in the Wanni were publicly castigated by a London-based Sri Lankan Tamil whose kidnapping and detention by the LTTE have led to investigations by Britain's security services and also reached London's High Court this month.

Rajalingam Jeyadevan, who was held in detention for two months in an LTTE house in the area it controlled, said that the ICRC had several offices in the Wanni but was "inactive" and makes no effort to press the LTTE over its clandestine detention camps where several persons were held and reportedly tortured.

Speaking on the London-based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation which is heard worldwide via satellite or the internet, Mr. Jeyadevan said that while he was in detention the LTTE declared open an interrogation room for the Tiger police. The ceremony was attended by ICRC officials.

But the ICRC ignored the detention centres where the LTTE unlawfully held people. Mr. Jeyadevan said he was held in a dilapidated house in Puthukudiyirappu in the Mullaitivu district.

This house was in an eight acre block and there was also an LTTE office there. More importantly an ICRC office was located a "stone's throw" from the house in which he and another British citizen of Tamil origin, Arumugam Vivekanandan. were held.

Mr. Jeyadevan said there were armed LTTE security men acting as guards to prevent them from escaping or even leaving the premises. But the ICRC did not seem interested in what was going on though he had seen an ICRC official on a bicycle when he was being driven to see a doctor.

Head of the ICRC Communication in Sri Lanka, Marshal Izard dismissed the issue on the basis that as an international organization they could not comment on a particular case.

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