Sri Lankas helseminister ble denne uken valgt til president for årsforsamlingen til WHO, Verdens helseorganisasjon. Det er fullstendig uakseptabelt. Regjeringen på Sri Lanka nekter hjelpearbeidere å komme i kontakt med tamilene som er ført til leire, sier Hillel Neuer i UN Watch.

Sri Lankan health minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, elected president of this week’s annual session of the World Health Organization, should end the humanitarian disaster plaguing 300,000 civilians in the war-torn north, or be pressured to step down by the organization’s 193 member states, said UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.

«At a critical time when the WHO needs the world’s trust to fight a global pandemic, the U.N.’s most important health assembly simply cannot be headed by a government that blocks humanitarian emergency relief to thousands, creates conditions leading to the spread of diseases, and seizes doctors,» said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch and an international lawyer.

«Just as we condemn the terrorism of the Tamil Tigers, we urge Mr. de Silva to acknowledge his government’s role in the appalling suffering of its civilians, and to take immediate action,» said Neuer, whose group has also been urging the Human Rights Council to address the crisis by calling an emergency session.

«How can the World Health Assembly take seriously a president who allows his own people in displaced persons camps, especially children, to be hit by contagious diseases, including reported cases of chickenpox, hepatitis A and dysentery?»

The London Times reported today that the Sri Lankan Government has blocked access to aid workers trying to help the nearly 300,000 civilians displaced by the fighting, raising the prospect of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Sri Lankan minister must resign from WHO presidency for humanitarian catastrophe, demands activist group

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