Dear DARA membership.

We are writing to inform you of an important cause that we are supporting. We ask that you please review the below information and support the cause. It is very important that we support doctors of all races and religions who are discriminated against for carrying out their medical practices. DARA has already pledged their support and are on the appeal as a group but it is also important to support the cause individually.
We would like to stress that we are not electing to take sides within the greater conflict in Sri Lanka, however, we strongly support that the physicians should be given due process of law and a fair and open trial.

Save The Doctors Campaign ( concerns 3 government-employed physicians who treated thousands of injured and dying patients during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s war, despite the risk to their own lives. Drs. Sathiyamoorthy, Shanmugarajah and Varatharajah coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate 14,000 patients from the war zone between mid-February and May 9, 2009. They communicated the humanitarian situation to the world at a time when journalists was barred from the conflict zone. During the final hours of the war on May 15, the three made their way to an army crossing point along with 5,000 civilians where they were detained by Sri Lankan authorities.

Several medical associations spoke out on behalf of these physicians. In particular, World Medical Association, British Medical Association and Australian Medical Association all issued statements:

On August 24, after three months in detention without charge, the Sri Lankan authorities yielded to growing international pressure and conditionally released the doctors on bail. Drs. Sathiyamoorthy, Shanmugarajah and Varatharajah are due to appear in court on November 9 for allegedly providing “false information” to the
international community about civilian deaths. Their lives remain in danger, more so now that they are vulnerable to threat, harm and disappearance.

The Save The Doctors Campaign team is circulating an Appeal addressed to the President of Sri Lanka please email if you would like to add your name to the appeal.

The DARA Executive