End the farse, free doctors
Robert Templer, Asia program director of the International Crisis Group called government of Sri Lanka to alter course, provide a clear timetable to resettle the IDPs, and release the doctors.
An estimated 300,000 Tamils remain in the internment camps run by the Sri Lankan government.
The group of doctors who worked "heroically to save lives and alert the world to the humanitarian disaster" in the war zone , who were forced to recant their stories on July 8th still remain in custody. And Mr. Templer called "This farce should end: They should be freed".
One case deserves special mention. Three Tamil government doctors and one senior health official are known to be in government custody and are now threatened with prosecution for cooperating with the Tamil Tigers. As just about the only remaining officials inside the war zone in the final weeks, they worked heroically to save lives and alert the world to the humanitarian disaster endured by civilians trapped in the fighting. On July 8, their captors forced them to recant their stories. This farce should end: They should be freed.
Further, Mr. Templer called internatioal community to play a clear role and donor countries to "pressure the government to be as serious about securing a just peace as it was earlier this year about winning the war."
The international community has a clear role to play in convincing the Sri Lankan government to take these steps. The cochairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka — the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway — have particular responsibility as they prepare to meet in August. They must send an unequivocal message.
All donor countries, both acting alone and using their influence in key institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, should condition all new non-emergency economic assistance to the country on their implementation. Creating the basic conditions necessary for a sustainable and equitable peace demands no less.