Top Italian musicians perform in Milan to help raise funds for Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (IL) An extraordinary group of well-known Italian musicians will gather to perform in Milan on March 21 in a concert to raise money for emergency operations to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the tsunami and the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, the UNHCR Colombo Office announced yesterday.

Andrea Bocelli, Claudio Baglioni, Zucchero, Antonello Venditti, Elisa and several other famous performers will focus the attention of the Italian public on the needs of the IDPs via a prime time broadcast on the major Italian television network (Mediaset). A small media crew arrived in Sri Lanka on March 13 to assemble a visual illustration of the most pressing IDP needs and plans to visit locations throughout the country over the next few days, including Ampara, Jaffna and Galle districts. Funds raised will go to support UNHCR's work in protecting Sri Lanka's most vulnerable citizens.

UNHCR's ongoing protection activities aim to ensure that all displaced persons live in safety and dignity, and are aware of their rights with equal access to support systems.

"On behalf of the UNHCR operation in Sri Lanka I would like to extend my sincere thanks to concert organizers Media Friends, Mediaset and all the artists and sponsors involved for their generosity and commitment to IDPs in Sri Laanka", UNHCR Representative in Sri Lanka James Lynch said yesterday. "We welcome this event, and any contribution the Italian public is able to make to assist the IDPs in Sri Lanka who have experienced not only the effects of the protracted civil conflict, but now a natural disaster as well."