Save the Tigers

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Tamils for Obama believes that the U.S. should remove the Tamil Tigers from its list of terrorist organizations. Why should the U.S. reevaluate the role of the Tamil Tigers? Because they are not what their enemies claim they are.

The Colombo government has long tried to portray the Sri Lankan civil war as a government campaign to suppress Tiger terrorism. Westerners, and the western media, have largely allowed the Colombo government to have its way in this matter. That is a pity, because it puts things backward. In fact, state terrorism by the Colombo government preceded the rise of the Tigers by at least three decades.

With independence, power was seized at once by the Singhalese ethnic majority, after which they never relinquished or shared it. Many attempts at peaceful, lawful change were attempted by Tamils and their leaders during the first three decades of independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka. All were thwarted by the Colombo government, which only strengthened its campaign to suppress the Tamils.

The government campaign of violence and oppression against the Tamils began almost as soon as the British left in 1948. There was seizure of land and replacement of Tamils by Singhalese; repeated government-inspired anti-Tamil nation-wide race riots; Sinhalese declared the official language, and used to block employment and education of Tamils; use of Home Guards, ruffians, and other paramilitaries to drive the Tamils out of areas they had occupied for centuries; declaring Buddhism the state religion at the expense of Hinduism and Christianity; and too many other offenses to list here.

All that happened before Tamil armed resistance began with the emergence of the Tamil Tigers in 1983.

This civil war began long before there were any Tamil Tigers to fight against. It began as a government campaign against selected members of its own unarmed civilian population. That this campaign of violent oppression and ethnic cleansing would produce an armed resistance is in retrospect predictable. We can say that the Colombo government itself created the Tamil Tigers.

The list of government armed atrocities against the Tamils is unremitting. What some Tamils called the "slow genocide" of the Tamils is not only continuing it is gaining speed. With the recent string of the government's victories, it looks like (as Tamils fear) the government may finally crush the Tigers.

Here is our problem: the Tamil Tigers, for all their faults (and they have many) are the only defenses the Tamils have had against the deliberate, determined, and well armed government campaign of genocide against them. Tamils fear that when Colombo has defeated the Tigers, they will be wiped out.

For the sake of saving the Tamils from the carefully executed plan of destruction that the Colombo government plainly has in mind for them, the Tigers must be saved.

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. They are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and are currently bearing the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.

To contact the group, call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.

Tamils for Obama


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