Statements   |   Sri Lanka

CPJ calls for release of detained Tamil doctors

Following the recent arrest and continued detention of three Tamil doctors--Thangamuttu Sathiyamorthi, Thurairaja Varatharajan and V. Sunmugarajah --by the Sri Lankan military after they supplied local and international news media with causality figures in Vanni during the last stages of the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, we issued this statement...

"This is a chilling example of the intentions of the Sri Lanka government as it pursues its all out military solution in dealing with the LTTE," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. "CPJ welcomes the reported end of military hostilities in Sri Lanka, but we once again appeal to the Rajapaksa government to reverse its policies of silencing the media and immediately release the detained Tamil doctors."

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I am pleased that CPJ is seeking the release of the three doctors who remained with the civilians in the rebel pocket until the very last minute operating on the wounded and sick have been letting the world know about atrocities knowing that their lives are in danger for doing so.
While the media and humanitarian agencies were barred from entering the govt. controlled zones let alone the rebel controlled zone these brave doctors put their lives on the frontline.
RSF is already pressurising and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is visitng the president on Friday.
I hope even at the expense of the massacre of over 7,000 civilians the lives of the remaining civilians whose only crime was to have been left in the warzone.

Pearl Thevanayagam May 20, 2009 5:58:05 PM ET