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WHO pleads with Sri Lankan govt about the detained and missing Tamil doctors

June 17, 2009

Inner City Press – On Sri Lanka, Norway Worried by Camps, WHO by Doctors, Bill Clinton on Tsunami
As the UN brags about it role in building more and more permanent shelters in Sri Lanka’s internment camps for Tamil, on Monday Inner City Press asked Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Garh Stoere if his country is assisting with the camps. “Mostly humanitarian,” he said. “We don’t get access as a country to the camps, we support the ICRC and UN agencies… it’s an uphill battle.”

Inner City Press asked about the use of funds to lock up Sri Lankan citizens for essentially political screening. “It’s a great dilemma,” said Jonas Garh Stoere. “The war is over, but there are almost 300,000 people in camps. If they are not quickly resettled, normalized, our past experience shows us that temporary camps can become permanent. That should not happen here.”

But the UN in New York seems to believe it is best not to criticize the Rajapaksa government, and to downplay problems with the camps.  In that context, the World Health Organization’s Margaret Chan has gotten involved in pleading with Sri Lanka’s government the case of the doctors were remained in the “No Fire” Zone offering treatment and casualty figures, it emerged Monday at the UN.

Still, the Rajapaksa administration says that the doctors, detained since last month, will be put on trial. Doctor Chan said told Inner City Press that “the UN’s position is very clear. Doctors working in the humanitarian space should maintain neutrality, do their work and be protected. And I, we have been following up with the regional office on this issue.” Video here, from Minute 7:46.

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