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Doctors who report on Government’s murder of Tamils – now missing

May 17, 2009

The Observer – Fears grow for safety of doctors who reported civilian slaughter

Fears are growing for the safety of the doctors who acted as the eyes and ears of the world during the Sri Lankan army’s final assault on the Tamil Tigers’s last stronghold in the north-east of the country.

Doctors Thangamutha Sathiyamoorthy, Thurairaja Varatharajah and V Shanmugarajah, and London-trained administrative officer Vany Kumar, are understood to have been detained by Sri Lankan forces as they tried to escape the fighting on Friday.

They have not been heard from since. The Sri Lankan army denies involvement in their disappearance.

Inner City Press – As Sri Lanka Holds Doctors Incommunicada, UN Deaf and Dumb

Doctors who remained in northern Sri Lanka’s bloody conflict zone are now being held incommunicado by the government in Omanthai, sources tell Inner City Press. Along with Doctors Varatharajah and Shanmugarajah, Dr.Thangamutha  Sathiyamoorth, the regional director of Health Services in Kilinochchi whose May 13 dispatch about that day’s the shelling of the last remaining hospital in the “No Fire” Zone was published in Inner City Press only yesterday, is being held without visits even from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In New York, Inner City Press had asked top UN humanitarian John Holmes weeks ago if he had heard that the government had stopped paying doctors in the conflict zone, and was threatening them, if they provided casualty figures or other information, with interrogation, torture and even death when they were captured. Holmes said he hadn’t heard of it.

In Sri Lanka, the UN provided assurances that it would provide security for the doctors when the time came, according to local sources. But now, even with Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff Vijay Nambiar in the country, nothing appears to be being done about these doctors. The question has been asked, but no answer received.

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