Wikileaks: Captive Tamil doctors "coached" to recant casualty figures

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 August 2011, 03:41 GMT]
Two WikiLeaks cables from U.S. Embassy in Colombo, released to the public last week said that four Tamil doctors who worked with the injured civilians during the last months of the war, and who recanted the casualty figures at a Sri Lanka Government organized press conference, had told the US Embassy officials that "they were heavily coached for the press conference [by Colombo], given specific lines to say, and even practiced with several members of the local media beforehand. They said they had not lied when giving their original statements during the war."

The memo sent by the US Embassy official in Colombo was dated Monday, 24 August 2009, same day after the doctors were released on conditional bail.

Dr Varatharajah
Dr Varatharajah
Dr Shanmugarajah
Dr Shanmugarajah
Dr Sathiyamoorthy
Dr Sathiyamoorthy
The doctors released were Ki'linochchi Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) Dr. T. Sathiyamoorthy, Mullaiththeevu RDHS Dr.Thurairaja Varatharajan, Dr. Ilancheliyan Pallavan of Puthukudiyiruppu government hospital and Mullaiththeevu Medical Superintendent Dr. Kanapathipillai Shanmugarajah. The fifth doctor, Dr. S.Sivapalan, was still under detention.

"The release of the four doctors is a welcome step by the GSL, but clearly they remain under investigation by the CID and now also are potentially under threat of abduction or extrajudicial killing. Post will continue to monitor the situation very closely, but for now the doctors appear to want to maintain as low a profile as possible, without undue attention brought to them either in Sri Lanka or internationally," the Embassy memo added.

Another US Embassy cable sent on the 25th June 2009, after the doctors reacanted the casualty figures, commented: "The dead and wounded figures given by the doctors at the July 8 press conference would appear to underestimate the true number of casualties during the final months of conflict in the no-fire zone. The GSL appears to be continuing its efforts to downplay the extent of civilian suffering during the last weeks and days of the war."

The memo said that a senior contact in the CID was demoted because he had worked to improve the detention conditions of the doctors and apparently had expressed too strong of a desire to improve their welfare.

The memo mentioned that Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary had indicated to the US Ambassador that it would probably not be safe to free the doctors until "after passions had cooled."


Related Articles:
16.05.11   Aftenposten-Wikileaks shows shallow understanding of US dipl..
01.04.11   US initiated ‘contact groups’ to militarily weaken Eezham Ta..
24.08.09   4 Vanni doctors released on conditional bail
08.07.09   Vanni doctors forced to give false statement
05.06.09   NESoHR Head appeals for help to protect humanitarian workers
20.05.09   Fears mount for safety of doctors arrested by SLA
16.05.09   Stench of dead bodies permeate Vanni, wounded allowed to die..


External Links:
WikiLeaks: Doctors from No-Fire-Zone released on bail
WikiLeaks: Doctors Recant Eyewitness Accounts of Civilian Casualties

 

Latest 15 Reports
12.07.20 10:04  
Sinhala Police OIC hit Tamil women with vehicle for opposing monks-led heritage ‘task force’
11.07.20 03:40   Photo
CBK, Kadirgamar condemned at Navaali genocidal massacre remembrance event
10.07.20 00:05   Photo
SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna
09.07.20 09:33  
SL Navy brutally assaults Tamil fishers in Mullaith-theevu
08.07.20 16:33   Photo
Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee
07.07.20 19:36   Photo
Colombo schemes to expand ilmenite scooping into North from Pulmoaddai in East
06.07.20 19:06  
Colombo transfers Tamil Political Prisoners to notorious Anuradhapura prison
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=34364