3RD LEAD (Correction)

Puzzling consequence for ‘missing’ doctor caring Tamil women under SL military

[TamilNet, Monday, 31 December 2012, 20:46 GMT]
The fate of a Tamil doctor, R. Sivashankar, who voiced for the rights of Tamil women forcefully recruited and held against their will by the SL military, is not known after he was ‘arrested’ following a dispute with the occupying military at Kokkaavil in Vanni on Saturday, according to the family members and relatives. Informed sources in Ki'linochchi told TamilNet that the SL military operatives who have taken the Medical Officer attached to Anuradhapura Blood Bank, used a psychiatrist in Vanni to issue a false report that the ‘detained’ doctor was mentally ill. In the meantime, the wife of the missing doctor, J Thirumagal Sivashankar, who is also a medical officer, went in search of her husband to Maangku'lam Police station was told by the SL police that they had no information on the whereabouts of her husband.

The 52-year-old doctor was earlier in charge of the blood bank at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. He was actively involved in sustaining public awareness on blood donation during the challenging times in the past.

Sivashankar, who had earned the ire of the colonial governor of North, Maj Gen (retd) G A Chandrasiri, was transferred from Jaffna Teaching Hospital and posted to Anuradhapura hospital.

The SL military governor interfering into the civil affairs was opposing Dr Sivashankar writing articles in the local press. (In media articles in Tamil his name used to appear as E. Sivashankar)

The medical officer was also working with international humanitarian agencies to improve the services of the blood bank at the hospital. He was also extending his support to the civil society initiatives in the peninsula.

Following his transfer to Anuradhapura hospital, he was staying in Anuradhapura town.

Recently, he was tasked to medically assist the Tamil women, who were forcefully recruited by the SL military.

As part of his medical assistance, he was also documenting the mental and health status of the girls.

On Saturday, when the SL military did not allow one of the girls who decided to go home after sitting for the GCE O/L exam, the doctor defended the girl. The Sinhala military officers who stopped the girl from returning home assaulted the doctor when the doctor argued on behalf of the girl.

Following this dispute, the SL military allegedly ‘arrested’ the doctor, and his whereabouts are not known.

A psychiatrist who has been recently collaborating with the occupying SL military, was allegedly used by the military to ‘diagnose’ the doctor as having ‘mental illness’.

Informed sources further said that the SL military, after inspecting the laptop of the doctor, was attempting to hand him over to the notorious ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Department (TID).

During middle part of December, 21 of around 100 Tamil girls, conscripted for the SL military, were admitted to Ki'linochchi hospital in a mentally affected state.

The girls have now been transferred from Paarathipuram to Maangku'lam and are not allowed by the SL military to talk to their parents through cell phones. They are only allowed to talk to their parents through monitored phone booths at the camp, informed sources in Ki'linochchi told TamilNet.


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