U.S. Tamils' open Letter to Former President Clinton

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Tamils for Obama posted a letter to former President Clinton asking him to urge President Obama to quickly and forcefully bring about a cease-fire and solution to the Sri Lankan civil war.

Tamils for Obama has posted the following letter to former president Bill Clinton. They asked the former president to urge current president Barack Obama to use American influence to bring the war to a quick end, to bring the administration's attention to the Tamils' wish for a homeland, and to urge India's Sonia Gandhi to end aid to the Sri Lankan government.

"Dear President Clinton,

We were Tamils for Clinton before we became Tamils for Obama.

We would like to gently remind you of a promise you made to us to help Sri Lankan Tamils with their horrifying problem.

The Sri Lankan civil war requires a solution more urgently than ever. The killing and government atrocities are going on unchecked.

We are calling on you because your national and international stature gives you a voice to which others with stature will listen. We hope we can persuade you to use your moral authority to advance the following ideas.

1. Please advise President Obama that the war must be stopped. Arguments you might use in moving this forward include:

a. Oppression of the Tamils began almost as soon the British left Ceylon in 1948. We believe and others agree that the armed resistance (which did not begin until 1983) was the result of the government's systematic destruction of the Tamils.

b. We consider the government's campaign against its Tamil citizens to be genocide. Others who seem to agree with us include Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the U.N.'s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

c. The Sri Lankan government is forcing refugees into what it calls "Welfare Camps" but which we and others call concentration camps. We have heard credible reports of Sri Lankan armed forces and associated paramilitary groups forcibly conscripting young men and women from among the refugees; of pregnant women's forced abortions; of "disappeared" refugees in the camps; of "Singhalization" of the property of Tamil inmates of the camps, and more.

d. The Sri Lankan government has forced out humanitarian NGOs and international media in an apparent attempt to make a witness-free war zone.

2. We have collected over 160,000 signatures world-wide urging the new Obama administration to act promptly and forcefully to end this ongoing genocidal war. We think that the Clinton administration's action of forcing Serbs and Croats to create an independent Bosnia could serve as a useful model. A poll we conducted among Tamils world-wide showed that an independent or semi-independent Tamil state was their wish.

3. Urge Sonia Gandhi to end the logistical and other help she and India have been providing to the Sri Lankan government.

Only the U.S. has the influence to end this war. We think that only you have the influence to get the U.S. to do what it must do.

Thank you.

Tamils for Obama."

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.



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